Summer means going on family vacations, having barbecues with friends and family and spending as much time out in the sun as you can. However, the weather also brings higher temperatures — and for many, higher energy bills. It’s hard to keep your energy bill down all summer, but there are many ways to lower your summer energy bill and save money to use on additional family-fun activities.

1. Close Blinds and Curtains

When you leave a room, closing the shades and curtains — as well as turning off the lights — not only keeps the room cooler for when you return, but it can also save you money on your electric bill. Employing simple steps such as closing your windows, utilizing shades and taking advantage of curtains prevents your home from transforming into a greenhouse, especially if it has west- and south-facing windows.

Blackout curtains — an alternative for window coverings — naturally insulate rooms and block sunlight, reducing heat gain in areas where they’re installed.

2. Close Vents and Doors in Unused Rooms

Lower energy costs in your home easily by closing vents and doors in rooms you don’t use. If you have rooms in your home that you don’t use very often, it doesn’t make sense to keep them cool. These rooms could be guestrooms, bedrooms of kids away at college or finished basements.

When you close the vents and doors of these rooms, you’ll save some money on your next energy bill. Additionally, if all the bedrooms in your home are on the second floor, you can raise the temperature on the first floor overnight. Cooling unused rooms may not seem like a huge expense, but it can add up over time.

Closing vents and doors is an easy way to save money. It only takes a few minutes, and it can save you a lot of money on your summer energy bills. When you know you’ll be using those rooms again, you can just reopen the vents and doors. The rooms will cool off again quickly.

3. Set Your Thermostat and Get Your AC Inspected

During the summer months, set your air conditioner thermostat as comfortably high as you can. If you won’t be home for a specific period, adjust the temperature accordingly. Maintaining your air conditioner system every year is important for it to run as efficiently as possible. Inspectors will ensure your system is free of leaks, that air filters are clean and that your unit is running properly.

Some homes can leak cool air during the summer due to space within the walls. By filling these gaps with insulation, you can further ensure the cool air stays inside your home.

4. Unplug Appliances and Electronics

Even if your computer, television and other electronic devices aren’t on, they can still drain power and rack up your energy bills. An advanced power strip, or smart strip, automatically cuts power when the devices are not in use, making it easier to turn them on and off.

5. Limit Your Oven Use

Every time you use your oven in the summer, you’re circulating more heat throughout your home. Your air conditioning unit must work harder to keep the cold air circulating. If you use your oven frequently or if you like your house particularly cold, you’ll see a spike in your energy bill every time you use the oven for any length of time.

Instead, try to focus on cool foods such as salads. If you have to use an oven, try using a toaster oven or use your outdoor grill.

During the summer, it’s easy to write off higher energy bills as an inevitable result of the warmer weather. We hope you’ve realized that you don’t have to accept those higher prices. Propane is already an inexpensive energy source compared to others. When you begin more closely watching your energy usage, you can cut costs down even more.

Foster Fuels is your local expert in propane. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.