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Summer sun means summer fun, but it also means increased cooling costs. If you are looking forward to backyard BBQs and dips in the pool, but are hoping to avoid paying an astronomic cooling bill, these tips can help.

Shut Out the Heat
Keep your cooling costs down by shutting out the heat. It’s not enough to simply keep doors and windows closed, if your windows let in those sunny summer rays, your house will end up a greenhouse in no time. Ensure that your house doesn’t heat up too much by installing thermal blackout curtains on windows. Keep them closed during the hottest parts of the day to keep your home from getting too toasty.

Use Your Ceiling Fan
Depending on the season, your fan can help you retain the heat or keep your room cool. If you haven’t flipped your fan’s switch for summer, it’s time. Ceiling fans can work wonders in a room by circulating the air and making it feel cooler without turning to your costly A/C for help.

Since ceiling fans use far less energy than A/C systems do, they can be used both in place of and in conjunction with your A/C to decrease the need to lower the temperature while keeping it comfortable.

Save it For Later
Heat generating activities will obviously increase your home’s overall temperature. To keep your cooling costs in check, save those tasks for after it gets dark or begins to cool off in the evenings. Or, forgo those tasks altogether and find alternatives. For instance, instead of cooking on the stove, use the microwave, a grill or slow cooker, and instead of using the dryer, consider letting your clothes air-dry outdoors. 

Optimize Your Cooling Systems
No matter what tips and tricks you have up your sleeve, you will need to still utilize your cooling systems on truly hot days. Keep costs low by preventing damage. Change filters regularly and set a cooling schedule. Allow your home to rest at a higher temperature when you’re away and slowly cool it in anticipation of your arrival home. This eliminates the temptation to set your temperature unreasonably low when you come home to ensure that your A/C works hard enough to suddenly cool the house.