When temperatures climb, it can be easy to remember to take it easy – and if you forget, your body tends to remind you.

It’s much harder to go for a run, do yard work or even cook dinner when it’s hot outside. If you must work in the heat, taking frequent breaks and drinking extra water are necessities for getting the job done safely.

While making these adjustments might seem obvious when it comes to surviving the hottest temperatures, did you know the high heat can also take its toll on your air conditioner?

When it gets hot, your air conditioner has to work a lot harder to cool the same amount of space. When humidity is high, it can be even harder. All that extra work means using more energy just to keep your home comfortable.

To make things easier on your AC – and keep your home comfortable as temperatures rise– consider making some simple changes.

High heat tips

  • Use a microwave or outdoor grill to cook instead of your oven, which adds extra heat into your home. This is even worse in the afternoon when outdoor temperatures hit their peak. If you do have to cook in the kitchen, turn on your exhaust fan to move the hot air outside.
  • Let your dishes air dry in the dishwasher instead of using the heated drying feature. This feature can leak heat into your kitchen, raising indoor temperatures and humidity levels.
  • Postpone doing laundry, washing your dishes or running the dishwasher until the evening when temperatures have cooled.
  • Take quicker showers at a cooler temperature than normal. Steaming hot showers fill up your bathroom with hot, humid air. This can cause your air conditioner to work harder to cool the room back down.
  • Use shading devices – blinds, curtains, window film and solar screens – on west and south-facing windows to block heat caused by sunlight in the summer.
  • Check heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) filters monthly, especially during the summer. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system worker harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
  • DTE gives cash back rebates on air conditioner replacements and diagnostic tune ups. Click here to learn more.
  • Download the free DTE Insight app to help track your energy usage this summer and take steps to reduce energy use and save on your energy bill.

For some more permanent adjustments, plant a shade tree or install an awning near your air conditioner to help it run more efficiently. You can also invest in smart home products like a smart thermostat to make the most of your energy use.

High temperatures can be a strain on your home but with a few simple adjustments, you can save energy while staying comfortable even when summer is at its peak.

Learn more about keeping cool while saving money at dteenergy.com/staycool.

If higher temperatures have caused a spike in your energy bill and you are struggling to make your payment, contact the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to see if you meet the federal income guidelines to qualify for State Emergency Relief (SER). SER provides immediate help if you have a past due bill or disconnect notice. DHHS can be reached at 855.275.6424 or newmibridges.michigan.gov