Seven ways to save energy during the summer in Austin, TX

A view of Austin's skyline

Staying cool during Austin’s summertime temperatures isn’t easy, but we have seven tips for beating the heat without breaking the bank. | Photo by @osheacreations_atx

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Brace yourselves, Austin — summer is coming.

After a brief respite this week, temperatures are expected to jump right back up into the triple digits this Saturday and stay in the high 90s for the foreseeable future.

All that heat is uncomfortable, to be sure. But let’s face it: bumping up the AC may feel good in the moment, but it’s not great for the environment or the wallet.

To help you through the next, oh, five months or so, here are seven tips for saving energy during the summer.

Free: Turn up the thermostat while you’re away

The Department of Energy estimates setting your thermostat 7-10 degrees hotter when you leave the house can save as much as 10% of your energy bill per year. Note: If you have pets, make sure you’re still keeping temperatures in a safe range.

Free: Close your blinds

Close blinds in the rooms you’re not using to prevent sunshine from warming the temperature inside your home.

Free: Unplug

Unplugging electronics such as computers, chargers, and televisions after use can save as much as $200 per year in energy bills.

$5: Seal cracks and openings

Don’t cool the outside: Trap cold air inside your home by sealing any cracks or holes to the outdoors + adding weather stripping to windows and doors.

$5: Make some upgrades

Swap out your lighting fixtures for energy-saving light bulbs, which use 75% less energy and last longer than old-school incandescent bulbs.

$20: Use fans to cool one room at a time

Rather than boosting the AC to cool your entire home at once, using ceiling, box, and standing fans as a much cheaper way to cool + circulate the air in the rooms you or your family are occupying.

$100: Service your AC

Before summer starts, swap your air filters, vacuum your air vents, and get a professional AC tune-up to make sure your cooling system is running at peak performance.

Got any other tricks for keeping cool in the heat? Share them with us.

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