El contenido siguiente ha sido creado en colaboración con Reliant. El mismo no representa las opiniones del equipo editorial de las estaciones de Telemundo. Para conocer más sobre Reliant, visita Reliant.com/es.

Scorching summer heat is here. So are higher electricity bills as our air conditioner works to keep us cool. Here are some ways to keep those summer electricity bills in check and for those without A/C, ways to keep your home cooler.

Do follow the 4-by-4 rule. If no one is going to be home for more than four hours, set your thermostat four degrees higher. When your thermostat is set below 78°F, each degree cooler increases costs on your bill by up to 5 percent. Setting your thermostat at a higher temperature while you're gone can help save energy and reduce your costs. Smart thermostats, like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, can be programmed to automatically raise the temperature during the times when you're not at home.

Do switch out old light bulbs for new LEDs. LED bulbs use 50 percent less electricity and last on average 10 years more compared to a traditional incandescent light bulb, which only lasts for one. Making the switch to LED bulbs conserves energy and can save you money in the long run. 

Do use blinds, curtains or shades. According to the Department of Energy, covering your windows can reduce heat gain by up to 50 percent. If you don't have A/C, that can make all the difference. Use thermal drapes or black-out curtains to block out the amount of heat that gets into your home and to help keep temperatures down. Sunlight can increase the demand on your air conditioner by as much as 30 percent.

Do clean your pool filter regularly. A clogged pool filter has to work harder and consumes more energy than a clean one. Make sure your pool filter is cleaned on a regular schedule and avoid running it all day. Consider covering the pool when it is not in use to keep the heat in and save energy. 

Do install timers or sensors. Lights, pool pumps, pool heaters, A/C systems, and sprinklers - there are so many systems to remember to turn off and so little time. That's why setting timers or sensors, which turn systems off when they're not in use, can help you save electricity, energy, and money.

Don't wash small loads of laundry. When you wash clothes, run larger loads instead of multiple small loads to reduce energy usage. Also consider washing clothes in cold water instead of hot, since most of the electricity used when washing clothes comes from heating water.

Don't use the oven when you don't need to. Ovens and stoves use a lot of electricity to heat up food. They can also make your home feel much hotter than it already is, causing you to crank the A/C, leading your system to work much harder. Instead of turning on the oven, try grilling outside or reheating food in the microwave.  

Don't miss out on programmable thermostats. Smart thermostats like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat can help save an estimated 10 percent a year on cooling and heating costs. You can schedule it to run only when you're home so you don't waste energy cooling an empty space. 

Don't let your ceiling fan turn the wrong direction. For homes with fans and A/C, turn your thermostat up 3-4 degrees and use a ceiling fan counter-clockwise to create a wind chill effect for a more comfortable living environment. Make sure to turn off fans when you leave the room. This isn't recommended for those without A/C as it will only circulate hot air.

Don't wait until the last minute to make sure your A/C can handle the heat. Air conditioners can consume a lot of energy, but without maintenance, they consume even more. It's important to get regular tune-ups for your system, twice a year if possible. Reliant offers A/C tune-ups so that you can get your system checked by a professional who will make sure your system is operating at its best and ensure you're comfortable even on the hottest day of the year. 

Concerned about your electricity bill? Call Reliant for assistance.  Living in the summer without A/C can be dangerous and even life-threatening, especially for seniors and those with medical conditions. If you’re having difficulty paying your Reliant bill, call 211 or 1-866-RELIANT to discuss payment arrangements or to find a CARE agency in your area to help with electricity costs.