Summer can be brutal on your budget when it comes to utility bills. Running the air conditioner alone can double your energy costs. Here are some things that you can do to your home that can help you reduce your utility bills during the summer months and have more money to enjoy the season.

Install Solar Panels

For an upfront cost, you can drastically lower your utility bills not only over the course of the summer but during the entire lifespan of the solar panel system that you install. The cost of solar panels has come down drastically as the technology has become more efficient and gains acceptance. Tax credits from the state and local government make this product even more affordable. While there is an upfront investment, most installers will offer to finance the system to help with the cost. You can also help defray the cost by selling excess power that your system generates. So long as your panels produce the necessary amounts of power, your days of writing large checks to the electric company are over when you install solar.

Fix Your Air Leaks

When you have an air leak, it is a veritable gift to the electric company. Air seeps out of your home. This is the same air that you are paying a fortune to cool. This home improvement will cost you very little. You can run the test yourself through inspecting gaps between outdoor building materials. You can also hire a professional to conduct an energy audit. They can also conduct a blower test to find the source of the leak. Once the leak is identified and sealed, the air will remain inside your home and your power needs will not be as great because you do not need to run the air conditioner on as high of a setting.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Your thermostat is sometimes a culprit of the high energy bills. Having to set your thermostat at the same constant temperature ends up wasting electricity, especially when you are not at home.  Smart thermostats not only provide more convenient control of the household temperature but also can help conserve energy and reduce the bill. For example, if you are not home during the day, your smart thermostat can automatically raise the temperature so you are not running the air conditioning as high. This cuts your power consumption at times when you do not need it. Smart thermostats are programmable so you can control your thermostat at all times.

Replace Your Windows

Like air leaks, windows are another thing that can cause your power bills to add up quickly. Especially if you have gaps in your windows, air will escape out of your home and will require more energy to cool your residence. You will also want to replace your window frames and make sure that they are wood as opposed to hollow aluminum. Replacing your windows with Energy Star-certified windows can cut your power bill by over ten percent. You should also consider upgrading all of your single pane windows to double pane windows to further save on your electricity.

Clean Your Ducts and Vents

When your ducts and vents are clogged, your HVAC system has to work that much harder to pump the necessary air to cool your home. Cleaning out your ducts will clear the air passageway and reduce the setting on which you have to run the air conditioner. Cleaning the vents will allow cold air to pass more easily through the filter. Air purifiers also cost money to run, and you will not need them as much when your air is cleaner. Without dust and debris in your home, you will not need to devote as much effort to filter the air of harmful contaminants.

You do not simply have to accept high power bills in the summer as a given. Sure, your bill will be higher because it does cost more to run the air conditioner, but investing upfront in certain technologies or fixes can help cut your power bill by making it easier for your air conditioner to operate or by eliminating your need for electricity.