We're always hearing about how you need to protect the environment and be greener. Well summer is the best time to do it. Being a little more environmentally friendly can help you save money on your energy bills and can even help you make your appliances last longer.

Switch off that thermostat

As the temperature hots up your radiators should cool down. Yet those who have set their central heating may forget that it's been turned on, finding that they opt to open the windows instead to cool down. That's a lot of wasted energy and a rising bill right there. To put it in context, turning your heating down by one degree could save you £55. So it's always worth checking.

Turn off the tumble dryer

If it isn't raining, which is slightly less of a risk in summer in the UK, then putting your clothes out on the line is a far better option that turning to the tumble dryer. Using your washing line on a sunny day is much more cost effective than putting your clothes in a spin. But the benefits go beyond that.

Anyone who has experienced the woes of putting their clothes through the dryer to have them come out shrunk or slightly torn would surely prefer to avoid this by using their line instead. It might seem like a hassle having to peg up each item of clothing but there could be some health benefits as spending time outside will see you raising your dose of vitamin D.

Anyway, it's better than being stuck indoors in the dark, having to sort through your clothes to find the ones that can't be tumble dried.

Not to mention, your tumble dryer will last longer if you are using it less.

Clean your light bulbs

This might seem like an odd tip but it can save you energy bills. Dusting off your bulbs will allow them to let more light through and mean you won't have to switch as many on at night. As the days are longer in summer you won't be using your lights as much anyway, which will keep them cooler for longer and leave you more time to clean them.

Avoid using your cooker

There something about eating salad in summer that makes it taste much nicer, mostly because you don't need a hot meal to warm you up. So go for cold meals, like salad and cold meat, to minimise the use of your cooker. This will see you making your oven and your hobs last that little bit longer and gas bills saved. What's more, you won't have to worry about your oven heating up the kitchen too much and making it uncomfortable to be in. If you do fancy a hot meal and the weather is permitting then why not follow Great British traditions and invite your friends and family round for a barbecue. Yet admittedly this is not the most environmentally friendly way to cook, although opting for a gas barbecue over a coal version is marginally better.

© Axonn 2015