Staying cool and comfortable during warm weather doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Read on for some affordable suggestions that can keep you from feeling miserable when temperatures climb.

Program Your Thermostat Properly

You may unknowingly be wasting a lot of money just by using your air conditioner during times when it’s not needed. Make sure to program the thermostat so the system only activates when you’re at home and in need of its cooling benefits.

Use Curtains and Potted Trees to Create Shade

A room illuminated with natural light can be very inviting, but that space can also get very toasty during the warmest months of the year when sunlight is always flooding in. Compensate by getting blackout curtains that block the sun’s heat. It’s also useful to buy a couple of potted trees to create shady areas when necessary.

Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs are becoming very popular, as they tend to last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Although these options are usually a little more expensive, they’re generally worth the extra cost. In addition to having a long life, the bulbs produce less heat, which can reduce your cooling bills.

Invest in an Air Conditioner That’s Rated for Energy Efficiency

If you’ve reached the point where it’s time to replace the air conditioning unit in your home, narrow the search by looking for units that are specifically manufactured to be as energy-efficient as possible. The ENERGY STAR label indicates that a unit has reached the minimum standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency for using energy effectively and reducing environmental impact. If the cost of a new air conditioning unit initially seems too steep, consider that it’s an investment that could result in significant savings through the years.

Change Your Air Filter Regularly

When air filters are dirty, the air conditioner has to work harder, causing it to use more energy. Get into the habit of checking your air filter every three months and changing it if necessary. Air filters are very inexpensive, and you can get them from a home improvement or hardware store. This is an example of how a simple maintenance measure can help cut long-term costs.

These solutions are easy to implement and well worth the cost. The first step in creating a cooler home without spending too much money is resolving to make positive changes. The above tips will help you achieve that through methods you can adopt gradually, or all at once.

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