UNITED STATES—It is summer America, which means the heat is upon us and more energy is being used as a result. The more energy you use the more money it will cost you in the long run. So I know I’m not the only person asking the question, “How can I save money?”

Well, it starts with understanding what you’re using energy on. If you live in certain parts of the country where the heat is excessive, which I would argue in the summer that is just about everywhere, some places a lot worse than others, the air conditioning or central air is on non-stop.

Guess what? That could be a major problem America. The longer those devices run the higher you can expect your energy or gas bill to be for the summer months. For those who live in the Mid-West, East and Central parts of America, you tend to experience all four seasons, Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.

As a result, you see higher gas bills during the winter months to stay warm, whereas in the summer you see higher electric bills (in most cases) as you try to stay cool.  It all starts with setting the thermostat at a reasonable temperature. I have heard some people go as low as 60 in the summer, and I think that is way too low. It will take your central air unit days to perhaps reach that comfortable number if you’re dealing with humid temperatures clocking in at over 100 or higher in the household.

Look, I love a 60-degree day I think anywhere between 55 and 70 is the perfect temperature. It is not too hot and not too cold, and you can choose to wear a jacket or not. It might be smarter to set the thermostat at around 70 to 73. That is still a comfortable temperature for the entire home, especially when it is 90 plus degrees outside.

You don’t want to be playing with the thermostat too much because it is going to cause your central air unit or air conditioning if you have multiple ones, running non-stop until things reach a comfortable level. The ceiling fan, most of us run them clockwise to get air circulating in the summer, but you might want to do the opposite and run them counterclockwise so that that humidity and heat in the air is taken out of the room.

It was something I never did, but I have started because I have discovered that it cools the room America. Also don’t be afraid to invest in a dehumidifier if you can. Not only does it take out humidity in the home, but it can also cool things in the process. Yes, you might have to empty water, but it helps with your overall comfort level and health at the same time.

Other ways to conserve energy is not being wasteful with water. Only use the amount of water that you need. This means not taking 30-minute showers, running water excessively when you brush your teeth, and limiting the dishwasher or washing dishes in the sink. I think water is wasted more than I can imagine, and it drives me bonkers because water is not free. It costs money and if only people realized that, perhaps those who don’t pay a water bill would do more to save on it.

Electricity, I don’t know how people functioned before, but when you lose power, it is a brutal thing especially during the summer months. As a result, if you’re doing things like washing clothes, utilizing the dryer, watching TV, charging devices, be aware of when you do it. You want to try not to do those things at the height of the day when everyone else is doing it. The goal is to prevent an electric grid crash when possible.

Utilize natural light. You receive more of it during the summer months so utilize it to the maximum. Open blinds and windows to get a breeze in the home and to bring in light. There is no reason to be turning on lights if you have natural light at your fingertips. Once again, this goes to some people not realizing how much electricity costs if they are not paying a bill. If you don’t have to use it, don’t use it, because it benefits you in the long run on a financial level.

In addition, close the blinds in the summer to prevent light from coming in if you’re trying to curb the heat inside the home. Heat rises to the top, so you’re likely to see the upstairs of your home hotter than the lower levels. I can say that definitively for my basement that it is way cooler, even if I don’t have central air or a fan running. There are just so many things you can do to help your wallet and save plenty of money across the board.

Written By Jason Jones