It’s hot outside, but it doesn’t have to be that way in your home. Here are a few tips on how to keep your home cool without increasing your electricity bill by using the air conditioner.

  1. Close the blinds – 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, so close your blinds and curtains, or install window film, to help lower indoor air temperature and save you money on your electric bill.
  2. Shut the doors – Closing off rooms in the house that generate more heat will prevent that warm air from permeating throughout the house. On a cool night be sure to open the doors to let the air flow naturally through your home.
  3. Skip the lights – Incandescent bulbs waste 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, so turn off those lights when you don’t need them. Better yet, switch to CFLs or LEDs for a cooler bulb and lower electric bill.
  4. Get creative – Fill a bowl or pan with ice (or use an ice pack) and position it in front of a fan so that the air cools as it passes the ice. Point the box fans out of the windows so they push the hot air out of the room rather than just blowing it around.
  5. Check your ceiling fan – If you adjust your ceiling fan seasonally, make sure it’s running counter-clockwise (as you look up at it) in the summer so it forces the air down to give the wind chill effect.
  6. Freshen up your sheets – Pack away the flannel and fleece and use 100 percent cotton sheets to stay cooler at night. To keep your head cool, try a breathable Buckwheat pillow.
  7. Freeze your bed – Well, that might not be possible, but using a cool-inducing Chillow under your head is. For a free version, fill a plastic water bottle (or hot water bottle) ¾ of the way and freeze it. Put the frozen bottle under the sheets at your feet to keep you cool during the night.
  8. Cool off – take a cold shower before bed to lower your core body temperature and rinse off any sweat.

Sources: Greatist, Huff Post, and WikiHow