There are many ways to save energy at home, without turning on your air conditioner, but when temperatures hit dizzying highs, or the humidity makes it feel like a sauna, sometimes it is a must. To help keep your bills and your energy consumption as low as possible, check out the 10 tips below:

1. Warm Nights: Try turning your AC down (so it is running less) during your sleep hours or an hour or two before bed. The weather at night is relatively cooler and so it doesn’t need the same level of conscious cooling.

2. Use portable Air Coolers: If you are not into cooling your whole home, try using a portable unit to cool just the area you will be working in. They use up to 50% less energy than a larger central air unit does to cool the same space.

3. Service Your Unit: Some basic maintenance might be all your air conditioner needs, but most will greatly benefit from a good cleaning of filters, especially if you are in a windy city.

4. Check Your Ducts: Making sure the areas of your home where your ducts run through (like windows, bathroom doors etc) are properly insulated. This will keep the air coming in as cool as it can be. Paying for moderately cool air is not anyone’s idea of money well spent!

5. Rearrange Your Furniture: Furniture obstructing air conditioning vents means you could be cooling the back of a chair or the bottom of your sofa! Although they make movable vents to help force air in the right direction, the easiest way is to just rearrange your furniture.

6. Buy Energy Star Products: Whether you are buying a central air conditioner or a room unit, efficiency matters. An Energy Star air system will use about 14% less energy than minimum government standards, and a room air conditioner will save at least 10%.

7. Lighting: Sometimes the smallest things can help, like turning the lights off. Paying attention to how much light you let in from open windows can play a significant role too. Although it might seem crazy to open and close your windows everyday with the changing positions of the sun, it does make a huge difference.

8. Fan of the Fan: We rely on air conditioners to keep things cool, but having the help of a few supplemental fans wouldn’t hurt. Use fans to circulate cool air. It is always good to have them as a back up as they use less energy than your air conditioner unit on any given day.