Running the AC all summer long can be quite pricey, and it isn’t always necessary. Yes, this is 2016, but there are also other ways we can keep our home and ourselves cool during the warmer months. Here are a few small steps you can take to help reduce the heat in your house.

1. Keep the shades drawn during the day. This can help prevent direct sunlight from warming up the rooms in the home.

2. Leave the windows open at night. As long as you can do this safely, this is an easy way to get the cool nighttime breeze flowing throughout your home to keep the temperature down during sleep.

3. Place an ice bucket near a fan. If you like to run fans throughout the house, placing an ice bucket or frozen water bottle can make the air ventilating through much cooler.

4. Make sure your ceiling fans are running counterclockwise. This one was new to me, but keeping your fan on high speed and rotating counterclockwise will help blow the air straight down.

5. Avoid using the stove or oven, and grill instead. Everyone loves grilling in the summer- and for good reason! Using your oven and stove can bring major heat into the kitchen.

6. In addition, avoid running appliances if possible, and do laundry or dishwashing at night. Running major appliances does the same as the stove or oven, and creates heat and wastes electricity.

7. Outdoor tip- plant trees and large plants near the home for shade and circulation. This will help with the night breeze and the shade during the day.

8. Enjoy some cooler treats such as popsicles, ice cream or iced tea/sangria. This will cool down your body temperature and is one of the best ways to enjoy summertime!

So keep these tips in mind if you’re on a budget or just trying to save the planet.