The summer’s warmth and long days often come as a welcomed change to everyday life but in keeping things comfortable and making it through, some adjustments must be made. Whether it’s going to the pool to cool off or switching to outdoor activities as a source of exercise, summer has a lot to offer. But it also requires greater reliance on the air conditioner and other devices to regulate the temperature and keep the climate of our homes as we like it. Understandably, it is normal for utility bills to be higher during the summer than they are for the other times of the year. Even though this may be the case, there are still ways to help keep your monthly costs under control.
Here are ten tips for reducing utility costs this summer:
1. Find and Fix Leaks
Leaks around windows or other areas of your house can cause cold air to continuously flow outside. This makes it harder for the house to cool down and requires your air conditioner to keep running. There are two ways to remedy this problem. The most comprehensive option is to hire an inspector to do a blower door test and identify all leaks throughout your house. If you prefer to do the work yourself, the other option is for you to feel around electrical sockets, light switches, doors, windows and baseboards for leaks. When you find one, use caulking or foam to seal it.
2. Don’t Just Turn Off Electronics
When someone turns off a TV or other large electronic, they assume it stops pulling power. But with most large home electronics, they continue to consume power even when they’re not turned on. To stop this “vampire energy,” unplug your electronic devices from the wall whenever you know you’re not going to use them for a while. Also, be sure to unplug electronics before bedtime so that they are not consuming energy overnight needlessly. If that seems like too much of a hassle, you can use a Smart Strip surge protector, which automatically cuts off all power when it’s not needed.
3. Change Your Bulbs
Whenever a bulb around your house burns out, don’t put another standard bulb in its place. Instead, replace it with a compact fluorescent bulb or even an LED. These bulbs are among the most efficient available to consumers with a number of benefits in both usage and cost. Ronnie Kweller, spokeswoman for the Alliance to Save Energy, estimates that each upgraded CFL bulb can help you save around $50 throughout its long lifespan. Beyond that, LEDs and CFLs have significantly longer lifespans and their increased efficiency prevents them from emitting the same kind of heat energy as other bulbs, which can further heat homes in the already warm summer.
4. Make Use of Fans
Instead of trying to cool your entire home solely with your air conditioner in the summer, you can lower costs and continue to stay comfortable by using ceiling and floor fans. These devices consume a far smaller amount of energy than is used when the temperature is manipulated. This effect is achieved through circulating air within spaces instead of driving the temperature down by supplying rooms with cool air. While this is helpful, it should be noted that because the temperature of a room where a fan is spinning does not decrease, they are only useful when the spaces that they are used in are inhabited. If not, then they are just burning electricity needlessly. This tip is especially useful when you’re sleeping at night, as the use of a fan then can also reduce your costs.
5. Go Green
One factor that contributes to the temperature increase a home experiences during the summer relates to the amount of direct sunlight a house is receiving. And as the rays beat down on a home for several hours, they can make moving about your home less than comfortable. One way to combat this issue is to plant shrubs or even trees around the exterior of your home. With more greenery surrounding your house, you will be able to keep it shaded from the sun’s rays as the shrubbery will be able to absorb the heat. Additionally, this can bring some character to your yard while also providing shaded spots that will allow you the luxury of escaping your home for a time and enjoying the great outdoors.
6. Cover Your Windows
In the event that you are unable to plant anything around your home, you can still create a similar effect by using heavy drapes on all your windows. Since this will help keep a lot of direct rays out, it can reduce the amount of time your air conditioner needs to run. In addition to just using your windows to block out sunlight in the daytime, they can also be used during the night in the place of other methods of cooling the home. As the temperature cools off outside in the evening, open up your windows to allow refreshing breezes to enter your home. Not only will this improve the climate for the hours when you are awake, it will also help to aid you as you sleep.
7. Upgrade (or Utilize) Your Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically change the temperature throughout the day by scheduling it ahead of time. This eliminates the need to manipulate the device multiple times a day and has several benefits as your home’s climate is improved while you save in the process. If you already possess a programmable thermostat, schedule it so the air conditioner doesn’t have to run all day, but your house still cools down by the time you get back from work. And if your thermostat isn’t programmable, ordering one from Amazon for as little as $30 is a smart investment. If you’re willing to pay more, a smart thermostat can actually learn your temperature preferences and adjust the heat automatically while optimizing for the times you aren’t home to save you money.
8. Keep Your Lights Off
In the summer there is an influx of natural light that enters our homes, warming up the interior and brightening up our spaces. While our natural reaction may be to turn the lights on in our rooms at all times of the day, take advantage of the radiance and use it as your primary light source. This will offer you hours of saving on the bulbs and prevent the heat that is able to escape them and warm up our homes from being released, saving you on air conditioning. You may find that the heat supplied from letting the light in is more intense than you desire and this can be combated by opening several windows and allowing gusts to cool off your home.
9. Grill for a Lower Bill
Instead of relying on grilling as an occasional method for cooking in the summer, make it a regular means of preparing your food. In comparison to the energy demanded of the oven when cooking food, grilling is much less costly and the time it allows you to spend outside is positive in other ways. The window cooking and eating outside afford you away from home offer you a period where you can just power down your electronics and other devices that contribute to your utility bill. Grilling also releases heat outside of your home, unlike the oven, which acts as another contributor to a hot internal temperature. The microwave and toaster oven also work as methods of cooking your food without consuming too much electrical energy.
10. Smarter Laundry
Doing laundry once or twice a week can be a notable source of energy consumption as several loads making their way into the washer then the dryer require energy. And there may be some things that you are doing that are further driving up that expense and contributing to higher summer utility bills. To end that, begin by refraining from using warm water to wash your clothes and instead use cold water. This will reduce the energy required to supply the machine with the heat it uses to clean. And given the summer’s warmer temperatures, hang your clothes on a line to dry instead of using your machine. This will allow for the elimination of the electricity used in that process all together.
Which of these will help you lower your electric bill this summer?
By putting at least a few of the tips on this list into action, you should be pleasantly surprised by the reduction you begin seeing in your monthly utility costs. The degree to which they help depends on your current habits and your ability to stick with them so identify which will have the biggest impact on you and your home. As you go about assessing the savings that each tip allows, feel free to focus on those that assist you the most and disregard the others. You may even find these suggestions help you to come up with your own methods of saving. Whatever manner you choose, finding ways to save consistently during the warm season will help to make the summertime even better.
To learn more ways to save money on electricity or get started today, visit paylesspower.com. Offering cheap energy plans to suit both personal and business needs, Payless Power is a company committed to providing people not only with some of the best cheap electricity rates in Texas, but also with helpful customer service. Visit the website to learn more about how to save electricity at home, or connect with the online community on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.