It's going to be really hot this weekend, taxing the air conditioners, the electrical grid and probably our patience a bit if an air conditioner fails. And many utilities will be asking us to watch our usage to try to keep outages down.

Xcel Energy has some tips to help keep you cool without breaking the budget.

  • Put the thermostat at 78. It will save you up to $100 over the summer
  • Install a programmable thermostat, to raise the setting when you are away and lower it when everyone comes home
  • Use ceiling fans to help circulate air
  • Open interior doors to improve air circulation
  • Use a whole house or attic fan to bring in cool night air and push hot air out during the day.
  • Change air conditioning filters
  • Close drapes and blinds during heat of the day

Use can also save some money with these tips.

  • Turn off unneeded lights. Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs that use 75-80 percent less energy and last longer
  • Run washing machines, dishwashers and dryers later in the evening. It will help keep the house cooler and lower stress on the local grid.

You can get more tips at

Tomwang 112 thinkstock