10 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill in Summertime by Antonia Anderson How do you keep your home cool without making your electricity bill soar sky-high? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to saving money on your cooling bill, but at least one of these ten approaches should help you cut costs.
1. Bigger Isn’t Always Better.
Are you using the biggest, most powerful air conditioner on the market? If so, that impressive unit may be sucking money right out of your bank account every month. Since you only need to cool your house to an acceptable level, an air conditioner that works overtime is a waste of energy and money.
2. Curtain Time.
You may love the view from your south-facing windows, but is it really worth letting your house get that hot? Close curtains and shades during the hottest part of the day, especially if you’re going to be out of the house anyway. You may want to invest in some outdoor awnings or overhanging shades, too.
3. Fans Are Fantastic.
When you turn your ceiling fans on, warm air gets blown away from your skin, making you feel cooler. This means you can turn down your air conditioner a few degrees. Turn fans off when you’re not in the room in order to save the most money.
4. Shed Some Light on the Situation.
Incandescent light bulbs don’t generate as much heat as, say, an oven, but they do factor into the big picture. Plus, they use more electricity than CFLs. If you trade in your incandescent lights for CFLs, you’ll not only lower your summertime electricity bill, but you’ll also see savings year-round.
5. Clean Up Your Act.
No matter how good your air conditioning system is, no system can run at peak efficiency when blocked by filthy filters. Make a monthly date with yourself to clean all the air filters in your home. It doesn’t take long and the savings are well worth it.
6. Turn Off Hidden Power-Sucks.
Do you make a habit of leaving your cell phone on the charger, your laptop plugged in, and your TV on all the time? If so, you’re adding extra dollars to your electricity bill for no good reason. These power-sucks should be turned off when not in use. Doing so could save you up to 10X in electricity usage, according to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
7. Shop Around.
Many homeowners have no choice when it comes to energy suppliers. If you do have a choice, take advantage of your options and shop around for better prices. Some companies use renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, while others offer consumers fixed billing rates.
8. Auto Pilot is Your Friend.
Are you shelling out cash to cool an empty house? It’s not always easy to remember to change the cooling settings before leaving for work, so install a thermostat with a timer. According to Energy Star, needlessly cooling your house during the workday can cost you nearly $200 a year.
9. Fill In the Gaps
Insulating and sealing your home is an easy fix that too many homeowners neglect. The sooner you get to it, the sooner your electricity bill will drop to a friendlier amount. Keep records of any money you spend on insulation, as you may be eligible to claim a tax credit.
10. Put Your Appliances on Graveyard Shift.
The hotter your home gets, the more work your air conditioner has to do to cool it down. Do your baking or stove top cooking after sunset, and learn how to use the timer settings on your washing machine and bread-maker.
Try one, several or all of these ten strategies to save money on your electricity bill this summer. Beating the heat doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Best of all, many of these tips will save you money in wintertime as well.