Summertime is great for kids, but annoying, hot and tiring for hot working adults. While coming home to your cool, air conditioned house is highly relaxing, those moments of joy quickly dissipate when the monthly utility bills arrive and you realize that you are being punished, financially speaking, for staying comfortable.
It is hard to think about saving money on your energy bills in the summer because one thing usually comes to mind: air conditioning. Who in their right mind would get rid of the air conditioning during this time of year? Well, saving money on your bills doesn’t have to be as painful as you think. You can cut your bills by as much as 50% by simply changing a few energy wasting habits. While some costs may be initially involved, they are quickly recovered in the savings you will immediately receive.
1) During daylight hours, keep blinds, curtains, draperies, shades and shutters completely closed. This is a simple tip, but it will really keep your house as much as 20 degrees cooler. It’s surprising how many people keep their shades open or cracked to let the light in during the daytime. If you are not home, keep everything completely closed to start cooling your home immediately.
2) Make sure your insulation and weather stripping around all doors and windows are intact and free of cracks, wear, and tear. Weather stripping is cheap and easy to replace, so always check for damage to these items. You want to keep the cool air in and the hot air out!
3) Cook outside on a grill as much as possible. There is a lot of undue heat involved with cooking, and the grill doesn’t (usually) cost any electricity!
4) Don’t use the Heated dry feature on your dishwasher. This may seem silly, but if you have ever stood next to a dishwasher during the dry cycle, you have felt the hot air coming from around the appliance. Furthermore, using heated dry will double the energy usage during every wash.
5) When possible, use the microwave instead of the oven. Ovens use more than double the electricity of a microwave and take four times as long to cook your food.
6) Change your air filters regularly and have your air conditioner serviced every year. If you can, use a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature in your home at all times, and keep the AC off when no one is going to be home for more than one hour.
7) Use cold water when washing your laundry. This will save more than 75% of the electricity involved in washing clothes
8) ***Use your major appliances, such as washers, dryers, and dishwashers, after 7pm*** This rule applies for most places – energy costs drop dramatically after this time. Try to never use any major appliances during the hottest and brightest hours of the day.
9) Save money by replacing incandescent lights with fluorescent or LED bulbs. While these bulbs are more expensive to purchase, they consume as much as 90% less than traditional bulbs, and last as much as 10 times longer.
10) Turn the temperature inside of your refrigerator up! Your fridge uses more electricity than any other appliance. Keep the temperature inside the fridge at around 38-40 degrees, and the temperature in the freezer at around 28 degrees. Your food will take longer to freeze, but you can save as much as 10% on your energy bills by changing this one thing alone!
That’s it! Don’t forget that your appliances account for 1/4 of your energy consumption, so use them wisely and sparingly. Remind everyone in your household of these steps, and you should see immediate savings on your next electricity bill!