Tips to Lower Your Utility Bills in the Summer
You may associate higher utility bills with the colder months. After all, you’ve got your heat turned up trying to stay warm. You have your oven going as you prepare hearty meals. You may even try and warm up with an extra hot shower. But, summer utility bills can be just as high. If you’re hoping to save some money on your summer utility bills, here are a few simple ideas that may help.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats boast about how they save you money. You set the temperature to the exact degree that keeps you comfortable. You can create a schedule that accounts for while you are at work and while you’re sleeping. Most programmable thermostats expect to save you 1-2% of your energy bill for every 1 degree you adjust your thermostat up or down during the corresponding seasons. While this 1-2% may not seem like a huge amount of money, over time, it adds up. And, most of these thermostats are easily installed and you may even find rebates for them from your local utility company.
Turn Off/Down the Air Conditioner
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, an easy way to save some money is to turn off your air conditioner when it’s not needed. You may be able to turn it off while you’re at work or away on vacation. When you return and turn it back on, it will probably cool your space fairly quickly, and your wallet will love the savings.
Or, at the very least, turn your air conditioner down, so you’re not cooling your home to an extremely low temperature. The Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers did an experiment and found that the people who participated in the study were equally comfortable at 72 degrees as they were at 68 degrees when they didn’t know what the room temperature was set to.
While fans don’t cool rooms, fans do cool people. The circulating air created from a fan causes your body to evaporate the moisture from your skin. This has a cooling effect on your body. Place a few fans around your home to help keep the air circulating, in turn, helping your body’s natural cooling system.
Use Your Shades and Curtains
The bright sunny days of summer are great, but they can raise the temperature in your home. If you can keep your shades closed and curtains drawn during the heart of the day, you can help prevent the temperature from rising in your home.
Turn Off Lights
This is a year-round tip, but turn off the lights when you leave a room. And, if you have children at home during the lazy days of summer, help them get in the habit, too. You can also be sure you have switched all of your light bulbs to energy efficient LED or CFL bulbs.
Use Major Appliances Less
While most new appliances are energy efficient and designed to save you money, if you can use them less – you’ll save more money. Instead of turning on your stove this summer, maybe cook in a toaster oven or slow cooker. Wait to make sure you have full loads of laundry before doing the wash. Ask children not to keep the refrigerator door open as they try to figure out what they want for a snack. Little things can add up to savings.
Try some of these tips this summer as you work to save some money on your utility bills. After all, wouldn’t you like to have a few extra dollars for an ice cream cone or an ice, cold glass of lemonade?