Be an energy star

With summer coming, it’s time to maximize the cool factor

Be an energy star

While it may not feel like it now, Chico weather can get hot, hot, hot. For most people, that means soaring electricity bills from running the air-conditioner to just stay comfortable. The no-brainer solution to a big bill is to cut back on using your AC. But there are other ways to maximize the cool factor that you may not have thought about. Below are a few ideas from

• Barbecue. Instead of generating heat indoors with your oven or stove, invest in a good grill and take the cooking outdoors.

• Line dry your clothes when you can.

• Keep the fridge stocked. The more food in there, the longer it will take to warm up when you open the door.

• Lower blinds or window shades to block out the sun, especially when you get direct light.

• Have your ducts inspected and sealed, if necessary.

• Consider putting in a whole-house fan. It goes in the attic and helps keep the entire house cool by pushing hot air out and pulling cool air in.