INDIANAPOLIS – As temperatures scorch higher and higher throughout the week, utility providers are sharing some key ways you can save and stay cool.

If you usually like your home cool as a cave, your A/C could be in for a challenge this week.

“More than likely what you’ll notice is your system just does not keep up,” said Eric Harris, service manager for Summers Plumbing Heating and Cooling. “If it’s 102 outside and you want your house to be 65, it’s just not going to be able to maintain that temperature like it normally would be.”

Not only could it be difficult for your unit to maintain, but it could also put a dent in your wallet.

“Cooling costs amount for average cost of over 30% of an electric bill,” said Angeline Protogere, an Indiana spokesperson for Duke Energy.

That’s exactly why utility providers suggest increasing the thermostat to the highest comfortable setting, which could mean turning the knob between 72 and 74 degrees.

“For every degree you raise your temperature, you could save five percent on your bill,” Protogere said.

You may also consider increasing the temperature while you are not home and lowering it when you return. It is also important to make sure filters are clean and the outdoor unit is not obstructed by anything.

“Make sure your cooling vents are open and un-obstructed,” described Kelly Young, director of public relations for AES Indiana. “Also avoid using unnecessary appliances.”

Cutting back on the use of other appliances can also help you save money. It also helps utility providers with energy efficiency during extreme heat.

“Using your washer and dryer, dishwashers and ovens during the off-peak hours, that 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. timeframe,” Young said. “Not only is that a cooler time of the day, so you’re avoiding the hottest part of the day, but you’re also avoiding the demand for energy at its highest.”

But that’s not all you can do.

“Keeping your shades closed, or curtains, Harris suggested. “Especially on the side of the home that is facing the sun. Keep that penetration from actually getting into the house.”

Utility providers also recommend turning off unnecessary lights this week to help conserve energy.

AES Indiana shared this full list of recommendations to save during high temperatures:

  • Turn air conditioner thermostats to a higher temperature.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights.
  • Keep curtains closed during the day on the sunny side of the house.
  • Make sure cooling vents are open and unobstructed.
  • Avoid using unnecessary appliances.
  • Use ovens, dishwashers, and washers and dryers during off-peak hours, 5-10 p.m., after the hottest part of the day.
  • Minimize your use of electricity when everyone else is, between the hours of 12-6 p.m.
  • Grill outdoors rather than using indoor stovetops or ovens.