Summer is here and, regardless of how you feel about the heat and sunshine, you could probably agree that you don't look forward to the high energy bills. Luckily, there are numerous ways to save money on your utility bills this season and still stay cool. Here's how:

1. Adjust the Thermostat

Setting the thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer is probably the last thing you want to do. However, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by doing so. When you aren't home, set the thermostat higher than you typically would. Then, when you return, turn the thermostat back down to 78 degrees. The smaller the gap between indoor and outdoor temperature, the more you'll save.

2. Close the Blinds

Whether you're at home or gone for the day, closing your blinds is a simple way to keep your home cool. This cost-effective practice is especially useful for south-facing windows, which tend to receive more light and heat throughout the day. If you miss the sunshine, opt for semi-sheer curtains instead.

3. Seal Windows and Doors

In the winter, you may notice drafts and cracks more readily because of the cold air seeping into your warm house. However, it may be a bit tricky to detect these money-suckers during the summer. While a little warm air may trickle in, most energy loss will occur through cool air seeping out. Seal your doors and windows to avoid this issue and stop your HVAC from working overtime.

4. Insulate the Garage

Further, promote your home's energy efficiency and cut costs by insulating your garage door. This simple solution can bring the temperature inside to about 42 degrees on a winter day, as opposed to 30 degrees with a non-insulated door. If the garage shares a wall with your house, this will prevent it from radiating heat into your home or leaking cool air from your AC.

5. Upgrade Appliances

Household appliances are responsible for a significant amount of your total energy use, whether it's hot outside or not. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances that proudly display an Energy Star label to reduce power output and save on utility bills. You could also switch to solar or heat pumps to reduce energy bills by over 26%.

6. Switch Out Light Bulbs

If you're using incandescent light bulbs, you may be paying an extra $100 more every year just to light your home. Why waste money and energy when you can purchase LEDs instead? These bulbs are 85% more efficient than incandescents. Plus, they don't generate heat like older bulbs do, keeping your home lit and cool at the same time.

7. Cut Hot Water Use

You might not be taking long, hot showers during the summer, but you can still rack up high utility bills washing your clothes and dishes in hot water. While the machine itself doesn't use much energy, heating the water uses more than you know. Choose a detergent that still works at lower temperatures and allow both your dishes and clothes to air dry instead of running them through a high-heat or dry cycle to save even more.

8. Insulate the Attic

Heat rises and will naturally collect in your attic. Meanwhile, leaks and holes can exacerbate the issue, letting more hot air in and heating the upper floor of your home throughout the day. Seal any cracks or gaps with caulk and add foam insulation to keep warm air out and cool air in.

Small Changes, Big Difference

Making all of the above changes at once can be downright impossible, not to mention exhausting. If you want to save money, begin by tackling one small project each day or every weekend. Even a few small changes can make a huge difference and translate to savings on your utility bills.

Martin Banks is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modded. Find him on Twitter at @TModded.