Don’t let the heat burn a hole in your wallet!

Say hello to shorts, tank tops, and flip flops because summertime has officially started today! As we all look forward to hanging out poolside, brighter days and summer vacation it is important to keep in mind that summer heat also means higher energy consumption.

“Recent temperatures have been through the roof, and with the kids home on summer vacation, overall energy consumption is typically much higher,” said Cory Byzewski, vice president and general manager for Direct Energy. “But you don’t have to break out into a sweat about your energy bills. By implementing a few easy tips, you can keep your summer energy costs in check without having to sacrifice on comfort.”

Direct Energy offers ten simple tips under ten dollars to lower your energy bill this summer, without having to resort to wearing a swimsuit indoors.

10 tips under $10 to help save on your energy bill this summer:

  1. Turn off air or close vents in unused rooms and shut the doors. Don’t lose money cooling rooms that aren’t in use. (Cost: Free!)
  2. Close curtains or blinds on windows that are receiving direct sunlight to keep the heat out of the house. (Cost: Free!)
  3. Replace the light bulbs in your home to compact fluorescents. CFL’s use up to 75% less electricity than a incandescent bulb and can last ten times as long. (Cost: $2 – $8 per bulb)
  4. Increase your air conditioner temperature by two degrees. Your air conditioner uses three to five percent more energy for each degree that your air conditioner is set below 75 degrees. Set your thermostat at 77 degrees to provide the most comfort at the least cost. (Cost: Free!)
  5. Seal your doors, windows and air ducts with weather stripping or caulk. Up to 30% of cooling can be lost through holes and cracks throughout your home. This can save you up to $150 a year on your energy bills. (Cost: $2.50 – 7.95/Door Weather Stripping or $2/Caulk)
  6. Unplug vampire electronics when not in use – items like cell phone, iPod and computer chargers tend to suck energy even when they are not being used. With 10-40 of these in each home, American’s spend the equivalent of one month’s worth of energy bills on these devices. (Cost: Free!)
  7. Defrost your freezer regularly. When ice builds up, your freezer uses more electricity. (Cost: Free!)
  8. Microwaves use substantially less energy than ovens. Use one when cooking and reheating items. Even better, use the outdoor grill and have yourself a summer barbecue. (Cost: Free!)
  9. If you’re going to be away from home for a long time, say, on summer vacation, turn the temperature up. Better yet, turn the air conditioning unit off. (Cost: Free!)
  10. Clean or replace your air conditioner’s filter every month. Not only will it prevent wear and tear on your system, it can save up to 5% on your energy bills. (Cost: $0.75 – $10 per filter)

How do you save energy around your house during the summer? We want to know what tips work for you!

Thank you to Flickr user M.Angel Herrero for the photo!