The average U.S. family spends at least $2,200 a year on their energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you live in an area with brutally hot and humid summers, then you know very well how much your energy bills can spike. To help offset your cooling costs, here are a few clever ways to cool your home.

Consider Lighter Fabrics for Curtains and Bed Sheets

Consider having a “summer set” of curtains and bed sheets made from lighter fabrics. For curtains, consider finding light colors made of netting or linen. For your bed, you’ll want 100 percent cotton sheets. Sheets made from a cotton/polyester blend are not ideal as they can make you perspire.

Pull Down the Blinds

If you have blinds in your home, pull them down when you leave for work in the morning. This will prevent sunlight from heating up your rooms. At night, open up the blinds and if it’s not too muggy, open the windows.

Don’t Cook or Do Laundry During the Day

Large appliances can cause your home to heat up. If you need to do loads of laundry or cook, try to wait until the hottest point of the day has passed. If you need to do laundry during the day, try washing anything that needs cold water first, as it won’t heat up the house. If you can, set up a clothesline so you don’t have to run the dryer.

Remove Drafts

Do you know of a spot in your home that’s warmer than other places? If so, you may have poor insulation in that area. Check windows to see if there’s a breeze coming in, and apply caulking or weather stripping to prevent the warm air from getting in. If you notice drafts around your front or back doors, it may be time to replace your doors. If you notice drafts in your basement or attic, it may be time to get new insulation. Typically, you can use a lit candle to find drafts. If the flame flickers or goes out, you’ll be able to identify where the draft is coming from.

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