Summer heat in Texas can be brutal, but your electricity bill doesn\u2019t have to make you sweat! Energy efficiency is necessary for your home so you can enjoy running your A\/C unit, without paying ridiculously high electricity bills. \u00a0Use these simple tips to lower your electric bill. Save a nice chunk o\u2019 change on your electric bill, with very little effort. \u00a0 Thermostat Dial Your electricity bill will take a heavy hit if you aren\u2019t using your A\/C correctly. Keeping your thermostat at a constant temperature may seem like a great idea, but raising and lowering the temperatures can actually save you a ton of money. \u00a0If you aren\u2019t home during the day, turn it up. \u00a0If you sleep better when it\u2019s cooler, turn it down. \u00a0Adjusting the temperature to fit your schedule will ensure you\u2019re getting the most out of your unit, enjoying the cool air when you need it most, and will ultimately lower your electricity bill. \u00a0 Keep it On Do not turn your A\/C unit off when you leave your home - \u00a0this common misconception will have you waiting for cooler air for a longer period of time, and it will most definitely keep your electricity bill high. \u00a0When you turn your A\/C unit off for a period of time, the energy it has to use to cool the entire area again is much more than it would use to maintain a certain temperature range. \u00a0Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that will fluctuate the temperature in your home automatically. Fans Although fans don\u2019t cool the air around them, they do circulate air. \u00a0This breeze can make a room feel cooler. \u00a0When fans are running, turn your thermostat up. \u00a0Not only are they already using energy by being plugged in, you won\u2019t need the A\/C unit to run as cool with fans blowing the existing cooler air around the room. Place fans on opposite sides of a room to create a tunnel effect that will distribute the air better. Change Filters When your air filters are clogged, the cool air from your air conditioner has to use more energy to push through into your home. \u00a0Changing your filters regularly will help your unit run more efficiently, giving you more cool air, and lowering the cost of your electricity bill. \u00a0Switch out your filters monthly to avoid clogging. Power Strips Check your small appliances. \u00a0If they have transformers on them (that\u2019s the little black cube at the end of the cord), you\u2019ll want to avoid plugging those into your wall sockets. Even when you turn your devices and appliances off, the power may still be on if it\u2019s plugged into the wall. \u00a0This uses unnecessary energy, causing your electricity bill to rise. Unplug them when they aren\u2019t in use, or grab a power strip for all of them. \u00a0When you\u2019re ready to shut them down, just turn off the power strip. Replace Appliances If you\u2019ve owned your major appliance or air conditioner for more than 10 years, it\u2019s time to replace them. \u00a0The older they get, the more energy they require to run properly. Purchase new appliances with Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of 10, and you could be cutting the cost of running them by up to 50%. Deep Freeze Deep freezers are a great resource for large families. \u00a0Buying groceries in bulk will help you save a lot of money. \u00a0If you have a large freezer unit, be sure you keep it in the basement or cool garage facing away from the sun. \u00a0It\u2019s far cooler in there so it won\u2019t have to work as hard or use as much energy to keep it cool. \u00a0You\u2019ll also want to keep it full. The more frozen items in the freezer, the better. \u00a0Those items will keep each other cooler, letting the unit take a break from having to cool constantly. The same concept works for your refrigerator, as well. Clean your fridge The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy-sucking appliances in your home. \u00a0Keeping the vents and fan clean and maintained. When those are clean, the energy it uses to cool the contents is far less. Laundry & Dishes Running your washer, dryer, and dishwasher can put out extra heat in your house. This causes your A\/C to work harder to compensate. \u00a0Consider running the dishwasher and washing machines during the off-peak hours which are generally 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.\u00a0 Wash your dishes by hand, or consider using paper plates and plastic utensils for the hotter months. \u00a0You may also want to purchase rinsing agents (like Jet Dry) that will take the place of the heated dry mode on your dishwasher. \u00a0Wash all laundry with cold water, if possible, and be sure the load is full if you are using hot water. \u00a0When packing wet laundry into your dryer, make sure there is room enough for the hot air to circulate. \u00a0Putting too many items in the dryer will likely take longer to get the items dry, causing more energy usage, and expelling more heat into your home. Monitor sunlight Keep your drapes closed during the day to keep the heat from coming into your home. Window film is a great alternative for letting the light in, but keeping the heat out, and can reduce the heat coming in through your windows by up to 30%. \u00a0If you have windows facing the sun during the day, potted trees or large shrubs can also help block out the sun. \u00a0 Insulate the water heater Add some insulation around your water heater. \u00a0This helps keep the heat where it should be and allows for a lot less warm air to circulate through your home. Close the chimney If you have a wood burning fireplace in your home, make sure the flue is closed during the summer. \u00a0It\u2019s something you may not have considered, but you\u2019ll notice a difference in your home when hot air doesn\u2019t have easy access to get in. Change the bulbs Grab some energy efficient light bulbs, and you\u2019ll notice a quick change in your electricity bill. \u00a0They require fewer watts and they end up lasting a lot longer than the classic light bulb. Plus, they are generally cooler and put off less heat, as well. Check for gaps If there are gaps around the doors and windows of your home, you\u2019re unintentionally letting warm air inside. \u00a0Check your weatherstripping and make sure it\u2019s not worn out and is properly in place. \u00a0When you find gaps where air can get in, use caulk to seal it off. Try using these tips to keep your home more energy efficient, and your electricity bill lower during the hotter months. \u00a0You won\u2019t be sacrificing your comfort or wallet by changing up a few of your normal routines.