Depending on where you live, your electric bill could vary pretty widely. For many in the US, though, it becomes a major burden on a monthly budget. With summer coming down the line, a triple-digit bill in the mail is a reality for a solid portion of the population. With so many looking down the barrel of this issue, it is important to know how to cut these costs without living like a caveman. We don’t want anyone sweating like mad in their living room, and we aren’t gonna have you unplug everything in your place when you aren’t using it. With that said, here are our 3 tips on how to save money on your electric bills:

Get a Smart Thermostat

This one benefits you in two ways. The first is that many electric and gas companies will give bill credits for customers that buy a qualifying smart thermostat. These credits can pay for a substantial amount of the cost incurred by getting the device, and make sure to check how and if your providers participate in this kind of program before buying. The second way is the more obvious one: they are smart. These thermostats give you the ability to change and monitor home temperature from anywhere. They also often use a function that automatically turns off your climate control when you get far from home and turn it back on when you get back inside of the “geofence” radius. All of these functions work in the background to save you money on your electric bills. Not only are smart thermostats convenient, but they also save you some serious cash.

Use Your Windows

Sometimes when your house gets a little stuffy, it is still reasonably comfortable outside. The instinct to hit the thermostat is a strong one, but before you do, pop outside for a second. If it is still pretty nice and cool outside, consider just opening windows and sliders to get some airflow in. Use a fan in or near one of these windows, and see if that does the trick. Oftentimes this will serve the same purpose as the AC without the same hit to the budget. Not only that but it also just feels better to get some fresh air in the home, as stagnant air can often feel far more stuffy and muggy than what comes in from the window.

The “Dark Hour”

A really useful technique, financially and otherwise, is to take an hour every day to turn everything off. If it has to happen at night, a light or two is fine. The point of this time is to get off the screens, shut down all the tech and sit and enjoy your family. If you live alone, take some time to read a book or clean the place up a little bit. Hell, shut off the lights in the bathroom and take a relaxing candle-lit bath and just relax. This can be beneficial in so many different ways, so much so that the financial benefit is really just a bonus. this one is my favorite, as it costs nothing and really helps you connect with yourself and your family.