When the Texas heat rises, your electric bill often follows suit. In fact, you may use up to three times more energy in the summer than you would in milder months. There’s no need to sweat, though. Here are 10 ways to cut your energy use, and save money in the process.

Summer Thermostat Smarts

When it comes to setting your thermostat, 78 degrees is considered a good balance between staying cool and saving on energy costs.

Fans and Saving Energy

Consider setting your ceiling fan to spin counter-clockwise. This will distribute cool air better.

You may also want to invest in an oscillating fan for rooms not equipped with a ceiling fan. Using a fan with your air conditioning can make your home feel four to six degrees cooler. It’s also easier on your wallet than making the AC work harder.

Keep the Heat Out

Although summer is all about fun in the sun, when it’s piercing through your windows, temps can rise quickly in your home. Closing your blinds and windows during the hottest part of the day will help keep the heat out and cool in. Also, make sure your home is properly insulated.

LED Saves Power (Electricity)

When your shades are drawn, the lights come on. This increases electricity use and warms up your home. LED lights release half the heat, use less electricity and last 50 times longer than regular light bulbs. They’re a smart summer choice for your family.

Fire Up the Outdoor Grill

Cooking dinner on the grill will keep your kitchen from heating up. There are lots of fun and healthy foods you can prepare on your grill. Check Pinterest or Google for some great possibilities.

Electronics Can Play Tricks

If you have electronics close to your thermostat, it’s possible the heat they emit will trick your thermostat. Thinking it’s warmer than it truly is, your AC may kick on when it’s not needed. Make sure your thermostat is out of direct sunlight as well.

Conserve Energy While on Vacation

When you plan on being gone for three days or more, consider turning down your water heater. Also, unplugging any unnecessary appliances such as toasters and microwaves will help you save money.

Cold Water When Washing Clothes

When it’s time to throw a load of laundry in, change your water temp to cold. Ninety percent of the energy needed to wash a load of laundry is used in heating the water.

Use That Texas Heat to Your Advantage

Using your clothes dryer not only increases energy use but it also heats up your home. Hanging your clothes out to dry will save money and who doesn’t love that fresh off-the-line smell?

If hanging your laundry out to dry isn’t an option, wash and dry your clothes after dark or in the early morning to avoid the peak-demand hours for electricity (2:00 PM to 7:00 PM).

Change Your AC Filter for Optimal Performance

Make sure your air conditioner is well maintained and the change it every three months. This will keep your AC from working too hard. When your AC is happy, you’re happy (and so is your wallet)!

Wrapping It Up

Although summers here in Texas can be real scorchers, that doesn’t mean you can’t save on your energy costs. Putting some of these tips into practice will really add up over the summer!