As hot summer afternoons lay in front of us, most people might be preparing to make their homes comfortable by purchasing the best AC or air cooler. However, it increases electricity consumption. Here are few tips you can use to reduce that.

1. Use a ceiling fan or other fan: Fans will help circulate the cool air, making it feel a bit cooler.

2. Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can turn the system off or down when you’re not home so you don’t have to remember to do it. You can set it for a higher temperature at night when you’re sleeping. Installing a programmable thermostat can shave 15% off your cooling bill, and it’ll help in the winter too.

3. Set the temperature to 78 degrees: It’s the optimum energy-saving temperature. For every degree that you raise your thermostat, you’ll save approximately 3% on your bill.

4. Turn off the lights: Using lights during the day can be more of a habit than a necessity.

5. Switch your light bulbs: Incandescent lights can give off a lot of heat, and they use more energy. Switching to CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) will help keep things cool, and they’re much more efficient too.

6. Shut off the AC at night: Unless it’s too uncomfortable, try not to use air conditioning at night. Open the windows and let in the cool air. If you open the windows halfway so there’s an opening at the top and at the bottom, warmer air will rise and go out the top while cool air is drawn in through the bottom.

7. Change your filters: Dirty filters cause your AC unit to work overtime, which means it’s not working efficiently.

8. Have yearly maintenance done: If you have central air, it’s important to have it serviced yearly. It’ll help it run more efficiently, and you may be able to catch a minor problem with the system before it becomes a major one.

9. Be patient: When you come home and the house is hot, don’t blast the AC at its coldest setting. The house won’t cool any faster and it just causes your AC unit to work harder and less efficiently, and it shortens its lifespan.

10. Seal your windows and doors: If you have drafty windows and doors in the winter, they’re letting your cool air out in the summer.