Keep Your Home Cool and Your Bills Low This Summer
energy to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Combined, heating and cooling make up nearly 56 percent of home energy use and the largest energy expenses in the average American home. Benefits.gov has energy-saving tips to help you stay cool this summer, at a lower cost.

If you?re having a tough time paying your energy bills, check out the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This program assists eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, and, if the state chooses, to weatherize homes. You may also be eligible for the U.S. Department of Energy?s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons, the nation's largest residential energy efficiency program. This program aims to insulate homes and conserve energy in the community.

In the meantime, here are a few simple tips to help you save energy - and money - at home.
  1. Seal Any Air Leaks. Weatherstrip any area that allows hot air into your home and cool air out. Seal up windows, skylights and doors with caulking from your local hardware store. Also, install white or other light colored window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house during the summertime.
  2. Don?t Cool an Empty House. Leaving the house for the day or a few days? Turn up the thermostat to 85 degrees. Try to keep the temperature around 75 degrees while you are home to reduce your energy costs.
  3. Turn on the Fans. Ventilation using house fans is the most energy efficient way to cool your home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can even turn up your thermostat while using fans because the air circulation cools down the room ? saving you more each month.
  4. Take Advantage of a Cool Summer Night. If you live in a climate that gets cooler in the evenings, open the windows overnight to let in the cool air. In the morning, shut all the windows and close curtains or blinds to trap the cool air in and help keep out the heat of the day.
You can also find long-term savings tips in the Energy Savers Booklet, provided by the Department of Energy. Visit the ?Your Home? section on EnergySavers.gov to learn more about the best way to cool your specific type of home.

Benefits.gov wants you and your family to save on energy costs and stay cool this summer! Use our confidential Benefit Finder to find out which government benefits you may be eligible to receive.