Is your home ready for summer and all of its heat? While many may adore the warmer summer months, your abode is gearing up to work overtime to provide a cool and pleasant atmosphere. Don’t let the spike in temperatures add hundreds of dollars to your utility bill. Here are five tips to lower costs that may not have crossed your mind.

1. Seal all leaky doors and windows. Believe it or not, weatherproofing your home is not just for winter. Cracks in doors and windows can be just as costly during the summer months, allowing for cool air to escape your home. Use caulk or weather strips to seal all potential leaks, thus saving you from wasted energy. Keep these supplies around somewhere as they will definitely come in handy once the weather begins to cool down again for winter.

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2. Clean air filters. Air filters that go uncleaned for long periods of time can cause quite a few problems in the summer. To prevent your air-conditioning system from working more than it needs to, give your air filters a quick cleaning. Cleaning all air filters at least once a month and replacing older units will help to ensure their efficiency. Also, no one wants dirty air being blown into their home. It will take you all of 10 minutes and make a huge impact.

3. Install solar shades. For those who wish to update their space, try incorporating solar shades into your design. Aside from protecting the home from harmful UV rays, solar shades also absorb heat, making rooms feel a little cooler. Also, a dark space may not significantly drop temperatures, but it will definitely cool you down without the sun beating in while you sit on the couch. Keep the shades pulled when you want to relax in your dimly-lit room.

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4. Program the thermostat. Why waste energy when you are away from the home? You wouldn’t believe how many people keep their interiors ice cold when no one is around to enjoy it. During those hot summer days, program your thermostat to a slightly higher temperature while away at work. If you time it just right, you can set the thermostat to cool off your place while you are commuting back home. Figure out a schedule that works best for you and stop wasting that precious cool air.

5. Enroll in off-peak utility programs. Did you know you can save money on your utility bill each month just by switching up your daily habits? More energy companies are now offering time-of-use plans that help lower your electric bill in exchange for you operating during off-peak hours–typically in the morning and evening during the summer months. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your home during the day, but rather becoming more conscious when you do laundry, crank up the air conditioner or run the pool. Check with your service provider about rates and plans as they vary by region, month and more.

Tanvier Lee is a New York based lifestyle decorator, stylist and freelance writer. Her work can be found at

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