Warm summer days are here!

Whether you’re lounging outside or catching up on home projects, these five tips will help you save energy — so you can put more money toward that beach trip and less toward your electricity bill.

  1. Plant a shade tree. Go green — literally. In Pennsylvania’s climate, shading the south and west sides of your home from summer sun is the most cost-effective way to counteract solar heat and lower your air conditioning costs. In addition to trees, well-planned landscaping that includes bushes, shrubs, vines or ground-cover plants can reduce your home’s air conditioning costs by up to 50%.
  2. Install smarter lighting. Your porch or front light can benefit from LED bulbs, which use up to 90% less energy than standard bulbs. For landscape lighting, consider low-voltage fixtures or solar-powered lights. You can also install timers or sensors so your lights don’t need to stay on all day.
  3. Seal from the outside. To help keep air conditioning inside, inspect the outside of your home for any leaks that might let that cool air escape. Caulking around your windows is a simple and inexpensive way to seal air leaks when new windows aren’t in the budget. Check the weatherstripping on exterior doors to see if there are any gaps. A combination of new weatherstripping and a door sweep (to fill gaps along the bottom of the door) can save on your utility bills in summer and winter.
  4. Reach for manual tools. Swapping power tools for a little elbow grease can save you money. Here are some ideas: Shape your shrubs with a hand pruner instead of a power hedge trimmer. Reach for clippers rather than the weed whacker. Opt for a rake over a leaf blower.
  5. Cool down your roof. Check your roof for air leaks and insulate it from inside the attic as a way to save on your air conditioning bill. When it comes time for a new roof, choose a cool roof, which uses special coatings that reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a regular roof. Bonus: Decreasing your roof’s temperature may actually extend its life.

PPL’s Energy Efficiency Programs offer simple tips and tools to reduce electricity use inside and outside your home. Check out more ways to save.