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One of the beauties of summer is more time together. Students are off from school, teachers are freed from work and things like long weekends and late sunsets just mean more hours to enjoy with friends and family. But summertime also means high temperatures, which can put a damper on the fun.

Hot weather doesn’t have to make you – or your electric bill – sweat. There are plenty of options to make the most of the season with friends and family while staying comfortable.

Make a sweet treat

Does heat have your family picturing the frozen days of winter? Cool off with a homemade ice pop! All you need are molds for your pops and some fruit juice. Pour the juice into your mold in the morning, pop it in the freezer and it’s ready to enjoy just six hours later. You can also make creamy, layered ice pops by alternating yogurt with pureed fruit. Make a variety of flavors and have a competition with your family to see who comes up with the best combination!

Get wet

Who says you need to have a pool to have fun in the water this summer? Water balloon fights are a summertime classic for a reason and, with a little creativity, you don’t even need balloons or a hose. Make reusable “balloons” by cutting sponges into strips and tying a few strips together at the middle. Then, dunk your sponge ball into a bucket of water for all the fun of a water balloon fight without the clean up!

Plan ahead

Trying to stay cool but make summer memories? Plan things like hikes for the earliest parts of your day – before temperatures are at their peak – and cool off with a slip-and-slide made with a tarp, water hose and a little detergent when you get home. If you’re looking to head to a museum, pick a day and time where temperatures will be higher so you’re out of the heat while still having a great time.

Managing your use

Staying comfortable amid high heat can be hard, but a few simple changes can help make things easier while giving you room in your budget for more summer fun.

  • Use a microwave or outdoor grill to cook instead of your oven, which adds extra heat into your home.
  • Let your dishes air dry in the dishwasher instead of using the heated drying feature, which can leak heat into your kitchen.
  • Postpone doing laundry, washing your dishes or running the dishwasher until the evening when outdoor temperatures have cooled down a bit.
  • Take quicker showers at a cooler temperature than normal. Steaming hot showers fill up your bathroom with hot humid air which 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.

High heat doesn’t have to mean giving up on summer fun – or giving up on managing your electric use. With these tips and tricks, you can make the most of the season and your energy.

For more summertime tips and tricks, visit 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