How To Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill
Living in Texas in the middle of summer I am often staring at a 10 day forecast that includes 3, count them… THREE 110 degree days IN A ROW with triple digit days leading up to and after… knowing each morning that it’s gonna be a scorcher, as they say.
The first thing that comes to mind is protecting my plants from the heat and sun, the second thing that comes to mind is my electric bill.
As the temperature rises, so does that bill… We all want to find ways to save money on our monthly utility bills, but, we also don’t want to be uncomfortable in our own homes due to the summer heat.
We all love having A/C come summer, but, it comes with a price, and when summer hits that price can be quite high.
Thankfully, there are many ways you can reduce your energy usage and your electric bill without … sweating it … (get it? hehe) at home.
Here are some simple energy saving tips that can help you lower your bill in the summer. To get the best results, make sure to use more than one tip.
By the way you might also be interested in this post, too: How To Save Money Monthly On Your Bills
Turn Off The Lights
If you’re not in the room, turn off the lights. You can also turn off the lights in the morning or afternoon.
When I was growing up, you pretty much didn’t turn the lights on unless it was dark outside, now we have them on all day.
My Mom lives with us now and she’ll still walk through the house and turn lights off.
I leave my office to get a cup of coffee and come back and the light in the office is off… I know she’s walked by and turned it off.. lol Old habits die hard, it’s a habit I should pay more attention to, for sure!
Lights add to the heat of a room, too. Plus, providing light in a room that no one is using is a waste of energy.
Change Out Your Light Bulbs
They might cost more money when you buy them upfront, but, you don’t need to replace them as often.
LED light bulbs also use 90% less energy compared to the old school light bulbs, saving you more money on your electric bill as it helps decrease your energy consumption.
Use Electric Fans
Use ceiling and personal fans whenever possible. Fans are efficient ways to make a room comfortable without the need of adjusting the thermostat.
I have a small, personal fan that plugs into a USB port on my computer and it sits on my desk right next to my face – lol – I turn it off and on all day.
I also have a ceiling fan in my office, but, I prefer the personal fan because the ceiling fan makes my coffee cold :p.
You can also cool down the house in the morning by placing a box fan in the window and opening another window at the opposite end of your house and turning on your ceiling fan.
Box fans help cool the air coming inside your house. It helps a natural breeze cool down the parts of your home without the need for extra air conditioning.
I remember my parents did this often at night where I grew up in Florida, it was also nice to sleep in the fresh, cool night air.
Unplug Electronics When Not In Use
Unplugging electronics you’re not using, helps more than you think. Other than the refrigerator, you really don’t need to keep all your electronics plugged in all the time.
Even if they’re not on, leaving your entertainment systems and your chargers plugged into the wall uses small doses of electricity everywhere.
Unplugging and plugging your electronics every day may be annoying — so use a single power strip and consolidate these plugs. Click the red on/off switch as you need to use your TV or game console throughout the day.
This might be an easy step, but, you can see results as soon as you start making this part of your routine.
Use Blinds And Natural Lighting
Switch to blinds and natural lighting instead of using overhead lighting. High-quality blinds can help lower your electric bill during summer as you are letting less warm sunlight into the house.
Blinds or shades provide a barrier to the outside heat plus they do not require any electricity to use.
By placing your desk, table or couch near a window, you can read a book, finish a game or crossword puzzle, share a conversation with your partner, or just soak up some vitamin D for your skin without turning on a light, thus saving electricity.
Use A/C Efficiently
Set the air conditioner’s thermostat to 78 and no lower. You can also turn it off at night and in the early morning when it’s not as hot.
If you can’t stop using your AC, you may want to invest in an energy efficient air conditioner, which can cut your electricity to 10 to 15%.
Avoid Heat Buildup
If the outdoor temperature exceeds the temperature inside your house, avoid activities that generate a lot of heat.
Avoid cooking on the stove top, using the oven, dryer, and the dishwasher.
It cuts down on heating up the kitchen, the electricity of firing up the stove, the extra hot water to clean pots and pans, and let’s face it anything cooked on the grill tastes better and makes less kitchen mess – that’s a win in my book!
You may also wash your dishes by hand and let your clothes air dry or hang them on a clothesline.
If you bathe during the heat of the day, make sure to use the exhaust fan in your bathroom to spot ventilate and remove the excess humidity and heat.
Use Electricity During Off-Peak Hours
If you want to use your electronics like computers, TVs, or washer and dryer, try to use them during the off-peak hours. These off-peak hours are in the morning or late at night.
During off-peak hours, some electric companies are usually charging less for your energy consumption.
Wait until six in the evening to do your laundry, to cook, or use your dishwasher. You may also ask your local electric company for more information about peak hours.
Plant Shade Trees
Planting shade trees on the south and west sides of your home is a permanent solution to cut down the energy costs. These shade trees will cut down the cooling costs of your home.
Not only will you get to enjoy lowered electricity bills during the summer, you can benefit from it all year long.
Plus, tree planting is a great family activity too!
The most important thing to consider when you’re trying to change your lifestyle to save on utility bills is don’t get overwhelmed.
It takes time for these changes to be a part of your habit.
To make things easier, talk to your family members or housemates so they know how to save electricity too and you can work together to save money on your electric bills.