Even though many of us try to spend most of our summer days outside, many of us also have that “oh $h*t” moment when we receive our energy bill at the end of the month. Summer may be the season of free outings to the beach, park, or barbecue, but it is also the season of cranked up air-conditioning. Here are 7 ways you can make sure you don’t break a sweat this summer, while also not breaking your bank. 1) Turn your AC down while you’re away… There are bunch of other ways you can enjoy AC at low cost – like going to the movies or the mall. Regardless of if you are just going to be gone for a few hours, or are vacationing for several days, be sure to turn your air conditioning down or completely off while you are away. This can be a significant waste of energy, and money, that you do not even get to enjoy, so take that extra second at the thermostat before you leave. 2) …Or when you open your windows. We all love that summer fresh air – on a cooler day (and while you’re home), turn off your AC, open up your windows, and let that pleasant and comfortable 75 degrees cool your home for you. Be sure to take advantage of the cool night air as well; leave your windows open for an hour or two before bed to allow your home’s temperature to drop comfortably, and always be sure to close them again before going to sleep. 3) Keep your blinds closed. If it is too warm to open your windows, be sure to cover them too. Even just the sun’s penetration through the glass of your windows can cause up to 30% of unwanted heat according to Family Handyman; using curtains, shades, or blinds can help to reduce your energy bills by up to 7% and can lower your home’s indoor temperature by as much as 20 degrees. 4) Be efficient with your AC use. When you know you will not be using a particular room on a regular basis (such as a guest bedroom or bathroom), do not waste the energy on it. Close the vents in that room and close its door so as to ensure that the cool air is concentrated where it is going to be felt; this will also more quickly cool your house allowing you to use less energy and money. 5) Make the switch. If you haven’t already, it is time to make the switch from incandescent to CFL light bulbs. Because incandescent bulbs waste 90% of the energy they use on unnecessary and unwanted heat emission, they end up making you spend more money on AC and electricity. 6) Can you grill it? Do you turn your fireplace on in the summer? I didn’t think so – using your stove or oven can have a similar effect. Frequently using these appliances to cook in your kitchen will quickly add heat to an already warm house; instead, take advantage of the beautiful weather and plan for more grill-oriented meals to keep the heat outside. Don’t worry, this doesn’t just mean eating hamburgers and hotdogs every day; nowadays, you can grill nearly anything, from pizza to pie! 7) Cool down your internal temperature. If these tricks and tips aren’t cool enough for you, you can always indulge yourself in some ice cream or popsicles. Regardless of how hot it may be outside (or inside), eating these foods is one of the fastest and most effective ways you can return yourself to a comfortable state. With year-long battery life and power-preservation as a top of priority of the security system, Blink is a great way to be efficient with your energy and your money. Check out the Blink home monitoring and security system, starting at just $99 with no monthly fees!