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July of 2015 was officially the hottest month on record, and this year looks to be even hotter. It’s important to prepare your home, and your air conditioning unit, for this extreme heat.

It may seem like an impossible task to survive the summer months without cranking your AC, but these five creative tips could help you cool down your home without heating up your air conditioner.

Close the Blinds
As simple as it may sound, keeping your blinds or curtains shut can go a long way in saving money and keeping cool. Blocking the hot sunlight from entering your home is a simple yet extremely effective way to keep the cool air — well, cool.

Be Smart About Doors
Over 25% of your home’s heat and air conditioning escapes through small cracks — so just imagine how much escapes through open doors. Try closing off spaces in your home where you spend the most time and focus on cooling those areas to avoid having to call AC repair services.

Change Your Sheets
A change of scenery can be nice in the summer months, especially in the bedroom. Changing out those heavy comforters for lighter, more breathable blankets can not only give your room a fresh look, it can keep you cooler and reduce the need for you air conditioning unit at night.

Focus on Body Temperature
Your HVAC systems take care of the temperature of your house, but you also need to be focusing on the temperature of your body. Summer is all about cool drinks and dips in the pool, and believe it or not, those activities can reduce your need for air conditioning.

Program Your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats have the ability to reduce your energy consumption by about 10% if used correctly. If you’re away from the house, keep it warmer, and then cool it down when you’re home. A thermostat can ensure that your AC is operating to maximum efficiency. Keeping your home comfortable this summer doesn’t have to mean emptying your wallet. Your AC can do a lot, but ultimately it’s up to you to keep it running efficiently and only when you really need it. Heating and cooling account for almost 50% of your home’s energy use, and reducing that could save you a pretty penny.

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