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8 Creative Ways to Keep Cool During the Summer & Save on Energy Costs

Summer is heating up and that can mean rising energy costs to keep your home comfortable. If you are looking for some creative ways to stay cool and save some money, check out these low-cost and no-cost tips.

1. Cool Down with Cool Food (and other cooking-related tips)

Choose dishes and proteins that require little or no cooking, so you can avoid heating up your home and save energy at the same time. Check out these 23 recipes for breakfast, salads, light meals, desserts, and some cooling drinks – no stove required. You may also enjoy these 21 easy summer recipes that fill you up with refreshing, healthy goodness.

Use time to your advantage – cut down on prep time during the week by cooking your proteins and veggies on the weekend. This will lessen your time in the kitchen during those hot summer nights. This is especially a great tip for households on a Time-of-Use DR 1 energy plan as you can take advantage of extended super-off-peak electricity prices on the weekend.

Save dirty dishes for later  – when you load up your dishwasher after dinner but wait to run it before bed or in the morning, you can use cheaper energy to banish dirty dishes.

2. More Popsicles in Your Freezer

Filling up your freezer with tasty cool-down treats like popsicles will reduce empty space in the freezer and help it run more efficiently. Plus, who doesn’t like a popsicle on a hot summer day?

3. Your Doggie Door is Letting Out More Than Your Pet
Check the insulation around your doggie door to ensure cool air is not escaping. Remove the pet door frame and install weather-stripping around the opening. This is a simple, yet effective way to keep cool air inside. 

4. 120 Degrees is the Perfect Temperature (for your water heater)
Check the temperature on your water heater. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a heater set at 140 degrees or higher can waste up to $60 annually in standby heat losses to keep water hot. And for extra chills and thrills, cold showers during the summer time are a great way to cool off!

5. Clean the Top of Your Fridge
Dust off the top your refrigerator and coils to keep it running efficiently and cool. Clean coils can also extend the life of your fridge.

6. Anyone Up for a Game of Dryer Tennis?
Throwing 2 or 3 tennis balls in the dryer can help your clothes dry faster. Or for the more adventurous, hang a clothes line in your yard and you can use the tennis balls in a more traditional fashion. Have an apartment or condo? Interior clothes lines with an open window with good air flow are a perfect match for drying clothes.

7. Film Up Your Apartment
Apply a non-adhesive film to the inside of your apartment/condo windows to keep the sun’s heat out during the summer. This will keep your space cooler and reduce the need to crank up the air conditioner. This works well for businesses and homes as well.

8. Spin that Fan Counter-Clockwise
Check and make sure your ceiling fan is spinning counter-clockwise to create downward cool air. In the winter time, you would reverse the fan to distribute warm air.

Still sweating your bill and the summer heat? Check out our Level Pay Program and other summer tips at And don’t forget, get outside, stay hydrated, and enjoy the summer!