With summer temperatures on the rise, we’re beginning to flip on our air conditioners to escape the heat. While the cool air feels great, the electricity bill at the end of the month might put a damper on summertime spirits. One of the easiest ways you can save energy and cut down that electricity bill is to adjust your home thermostats. Most people have their heater or air conditioner, hot water heater, and refrigerator thermostats set at unnecessary temperatures.

When it comes to heating and cooling systems, consider installing an Energy Star-certified programmable home thermostat that can save you about $200 a year in energy costs and help reduce global warming. By utilizing the system’s four pre-programmed settings, you can reduce energy use when you are asleep or out of the house without sacrificing comfort in the hours you are there. Set your programmable thermostat to your family’s schedule using the Energy Star Programmable Thermostat Calculator (click here), and get a clear picture of how much you can cut back on both your energy use and energy bill. Be sure to keep the thermostat set at energy-saving temperatures for long periods of time — at least eight hours a day — and consider multiple heating and cooling zones if you have a large home.

Most people keep the temperature on the hot water heater much higher than they really need. Adjust the temperature on your hot water heater to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll still enjoy steamy hot showers. Lower the temperature even more if you can.

And finally, adjust your refrigerator to energy-saving temperatures, or consider switching to a more modern, energy-saving fridge that will take care of it for you. (www.energystar.gov)