Summer can be brutal when you have a malfunctioning or broken air conditioning unit. Not only do you have to constantly crank up the AC to feel comfortable, but you might also be spending more money on your utility bills than you can afford. And, if you do try to cut down on expenses by reducing your AC use, you will have to suffer through the long, hot, and sweaty days of summer.

Hire a qualified technician to diagnose your HVAC issues, and in the meantime, use these tips to cool down this summer.

How can you keep cool this summer without breaking the bank?

  • Turn on your fans. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), turning on a ceiling fan allows you to turn up the thermostat at least four degrees without suffering any discomfort.
  • Avoid using your oven. On extremely hot days, turning on the oven can feel like lighting a fire in the fireplace. Use the stove, microwave, or grill to cook your dinner instead.
  • Switch to CFLs or LEDs. These light bulbs produce at least 75% less heat than normal incandescent bulbs. Also, try shutting off the lights during the day to keep the heat at bay.
  • Plant trees and bushes. Tall trees and bushes, when planted on the west and/or south sides of your home, should provide you with enough shade to cut your energy costs and save you between $100 and $250 a year, according to the DOE.
  • Change your HVAC system’s air filters. This is a great habit to get into regularly because it not only keeps your air clean but also helps your HVAC system to work more efficiently, ensuring a cooler home.
  • Close the blinds and drapes. The DOE reports that using drapes or blinds can actually reduce the heat in your house by 33%.
  • Dry your clothes the old-fashioned way. Your dryer is easy to use, but it also raises the temperature inside your home. On warm, sunny days, take your wet clothes outside and hang them on a clothesline to dry.
  • Perform a Home Energy Audit. Home Energy Audits will help determine which home appliances are increasing your discomfort and wasting energy and money. The technicians who perform the audit will help you decide what you should do to create a more energy-efficient home.