How to Plan the Best Energy-Efficient Summer Party Use a Meat Thermometer These ovenproof, digital meters can tell you what temperature your dish should be when it’s done. This means you don’t need to open the oven door as often while you’re cooking, which allows heat energy to escape each time. Now you can focus on the fun instead of the heat. Turn on the Fan A ceiling fan circulates the air so your guests feel cooler no matter where they sit — which means you can set your thermostat a little higher and give the AC unit a break. Fans use significantly less energy than central AC units do, so saving energy is a breeze. Bonus tip: Rotate your fan clockwise during the winter to pull cold air up to the ceiling and force warm air down and out toward the walls. When the weather starts to warm up, flip the switch to the counterclockwise setting so you feel a cool breeze. Clear the Area Your AC unit will operate better if it has room to breathe, so keep plants, patio furniture and other outdoor obstructions away from the system. Your AC unit won’t have to work as hard to cool your house which means you can save energy. Take the Fun Outdoors One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy use is to move the party outdoors so your AC doesn’t have to work overtime to keep up with the extra people. Beat the heat and save on your energy bill by setting up food, drinks and games outside for everyone to enjoy. Cover Your Food Covered foods limit moisture evaporation, so when your guests are finished feasting cover up the leftovers before placing them in the refrigerator. This way, your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to cool extra moisture in the air and you can save some cold hard cash. Shade Your AC Shading your AC unit with foliage helps keep the air around it cooler, so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard, in turn saving you energy. This means your house will be cool — just like your parties. Now that your summer party is energy efficient, see how you can become king of your kitchen with our energy-saving tips!