1. If purchasing a window unit air conditioner, look for an ENERGY STAR model. They can reduce your cooling costs as much as 20 percent.
2. The more direct sunlight an air conditioner gets, the more it has to work to cool. When installing a window unit, try to put it on the north side of your house.
3. If you have central air, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Every degree higher you set it saves you 6 to 7 percent on your air conditioning costs.
4. Use portable fans and ceiling fans to help cool your place.
5. Get rid of the hot air in the kitchen with your vent-a-hood.
6. Close blinds during the heat of the day.
7. Avoid using the oven. Microwaves are great when the weather gets warmer.
8. Grill outdoors to reduce kitchen heat in spring and summer months.
9. Turn your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Wait until the sun has gone down to do your laundry or wash dishes in a dishwasher.