When the outdoor temperature rises on hot summer days, you might be tempted to close the windows and run to the thermostat to crank up the air conditioner. As easy as this solution is to quickly cool down your home, it carries a pretty hefty price tag. The video below from HVAC.com walks through the different variables that effect the cost of running your air conditioner.

So while the cost of running your A/C varies by household, one thing is certain: it costs money. To help counteract a rise in your summertime expenses, try one of these tricks to keep your home naturally cool:

Close your blinds. Simple as it may sound, keeping direct sunlight out of your home can make a big difference in the temperature: “…utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees” (Huffpost). Invest in blackout curtains to reduce heat even more!

Open shades and windows at night. The temperature shift from day to night can be somewhat extreme, so take advantage of the cool nights and open your windows to invite the colder air into your home.

Turn on some fans. Sometimes a nice breeze is all you need to feel cooler. Install ceiling fans in frequently used rooms to push the warm air down and out. It’s also a good idea to get some other fans to position throughout the home, especially those you can place near windows at night to increase the flow of cool air.

Switch to CFL light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs put off a lot less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they also cut energy costs (Family Handyman). It’s a win-win!

Grill instead of baking. It seems too obvious but opting to cook outside saves your kitchen from becoming unbearably hot due to residual heat from your oven or stove.

Install tinted window covers. Much like shades and curtains, tinted window covers are an inexpensive way to block the suns heat from raising the temperature in your home (Family Handyman). These covers are easy to install too!

We hope these tips help you stay cool and save money this summer!