Long summer days come as a welcomed change to everyday life, though adjustments must be made to remain comfortable. The warmer weather requires greater reliance on air conditioning to regulate the temperature and maintain the cool climate of our homes. While it is understandable for utility bills to be highest during the summer, there are still ways to save money keep your monthly costs under control.
10 Tips to Help You Save Money this Summer
1. Find and Fix Leaks
Leaks around windows or other areas of your house allow cold air to continuously flow outside. This forces your air conditioner to keep running in order to try and cool down the house. 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, 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 the TV, they assume it stops pulling power. But most large home electronics continue to consume power even when they’re not turned on. To stop this “vampire energy” and easily save money, unplug your electronic devices from the wall whenever you’re not going to use them for a while. Also, be sure to unplug electronics before bedtime so that they are not needlessly consuming energy overnight. If that’s 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
If a bulb around your house burns out, don’t replace it with another standard bulb. Instead, upgrade to 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. For instance, 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 is unhelpful in the already warm summer.
4. Make Use of Fans
Instead of cooling your entire home with solely your air conditioner in the summer, save money and stay comfortable by using ceiling and floor fans. These devices consume a far smaller amount of energy than is used when manipulating your thermostat. This is achieved through circulating air within spaces for a cooling effect instead of driving the temperature down by supplying rooms with cold air. Note that fans do not decrease the temperature of a room, so they are simply wasting energy in uninhabited rooms.
5. Go Green Outside Your House
Exposure to direct sunlight is a big contributor to high temperatures in the home during the summer. Combat this issue by planting shrubs or 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 greenery will be able to absorb the heat. Additionally, this can bring some character to your yard while offering shaded spots as an escape from your home to enjoy some time outside.
6. Cover Every Window
If you can’t invest in landscaping, you can still create a similar shading effect by using heavy drapes on your windows. Since this will keep a lot of direct rays out, it can reduce the amount of time your air conditioner needs to run. And as the temperature cools off outside in the evening, open your windows to allow refreshing breezes into your home. Not only will this improve the climate for the hours when you are awake, it will also 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 instead of adjusting it multiple times a day. If you already have 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
Summertime offers a lot of natural light in the home, warming up the interior and brightening up our spaces. Take advantage of this radiance and don’t turn on the lights during the daytime. This will offer you hours of savings on the bulbs and prevent the heat that is able to escape them and warm up our homes from being released, while also achieving savings 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 windows and to allow a breeze inside, cooling off your home.
9. Grill More Often
Instead of occasionally grilling this summer, make it a regular means of preparing your food. Grilling demands less energy than using an oven does and gets you outside of the house, affording an opportunity to 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. To cut corners on your high summer electric bill and save extra money, use cold water instead of warm water to wash your clothes. This will reduce the energy required to supply the machine with the heat it uses to clean. Take advantage of the warm weather and hang your clothes on a line to dry outside instead of using your machine. This will allow for the elimination of the electricity used in that process all together.
Stay Cool in the Summertime For Less
By putting at least a few of the tips on this list into action, you should be pleasantly surprised by the reduction 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. Whatever manner you choose, finding ways to save consistently during the warm season will help to make the summertime even better.