As we enter some of our hottest months here in Nebraska, it’s tempting to crank up the AC and hope the energy bill will be worth it. But, before you reach for that thermostat, check out these tips to find out how you can beat the summer heat and save money.

First off, why does saving energy help us and the environment? 

Energy efficiency focuses on reducing energy waste to ensure we not only cut unnecessary energy costs, but also prevent needless pollution. The more energy we use, the more fossil fuels pollute our air. Luckily, there are many simple actions we can take to be more energy efficient.

Change the light bulbs

As we’ve mentioned in previous tips, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is energy efficient and cost-effective for your energy bill. But did you know both CFLs and LED lights can also help with cooling costs? Traditional lighting uses very little of its energy to produce light. In fact, 90% of an incandescent light bulb’s energy is wasted as heat. CFLs and LED lights, on the other hand, generate light in a more efficient way, giving off far less heat than incandescent bulbs and letting you rest a little easier about heating costs.

Keep cool with curtains

Try energy efficient curtains that let light in without trapping heat. Without a barrier on your window, you can lose up to 25 percent of cool air from your A/C. While energy-efficient windows can be costly, energy-efficient curtains are inexpensive and help maintain that cooled air in your home. And, since these curtains work to keep heat from entering or leaving your home, they can also help to insulate your home better in the winter.

Make your thermostat efficient

When you’re away, turn your thermostat 8 to 10 degrees back so that it resembles the temperature outside — this can help you save as much as 10% on heating and cooling costs per year. There are even smart thermostats that automatically change the temperature so that you don’t have to. If you want extra savings, try using a fan while your home. Using a fan allows you to turn up the thermostat 4 degrees with no loss of comfort. Just remember to turn it off when you leave a room, as fans only help keep us cool, not the room itself. 

Make sure to check out the Energy Department’s website for more tips on saving energy in the summer!