Summers are full of adventure, fun, and sunshine. But the warm weather can send your energy bill soaring. We’ve got some ideas to help you save money on your energy bills this season.
Adjust your thermostat. If there is no one home during the day, don’t spend a ton of money cooling the house. Set it to a reasonable temperature so your air conditioner isn’t running on high while you’re out. If you have a smart thermostat, see if your utility offers incentives to participate in a program that allows it to raise your settings during the summer (and lower them in the winter) to conserve power during heavy usage times. These programs can offer periodic cash incentives and lower your overall power bill by dropping your usage during high-cost periods.
Give your air conditioner some extra support. Clean your air conditioning units, replace filters on a regular schedule, and get tune-ups. If your air conditioner or heat pump is old, you may find big savings by replacing it.
Use fans to keep air circulating and help you feel cooler even if you set the thermostat a few degrees higher. Avoid using the stove or oven on hot days and use the grill instead. And keep windows and doors closed so cold air stays inside where you want it. In a more humid climate, a dehumidifier may help you feel cooler and less sticky.
Minimize lamps or overhead lighting usage. Use compact fluorescent and LED bulbs where possible to minimize the heat and close your blinds and curtains when the sun is beating on your windows. Consider blackout curtains on your windows that get a lot of midday or evening sun.
Consider home improvements. You might need to reinstall your home’s insulation if it’s an older home. If you have single-paned windows, installing new, more energy-efficient ones can make a big difference. As a bonus, newer windows may also block UV light and can help keep the heat out too. New light fixtures can also help, as some older fixtures don’t work well with energy-efficient light bulbs. A home equity loan or line of credit may be a good option for paying for these upgrades.
Ceiling fans can help spread cool air, so you may want to install those in strategic locations throughout your home. Remember that smart thermostat we mentioned earlier? If you don’t have one, consider getting one (or just a programmable thermostat) installed.
Looking for some quick and inexpensive fixes you can easily do yourself? Replacing weather stripping, door sweeps, and window caulking can help minimize air leaks that let hot air in and cold air out. You may also want to insulate your electric plugs. Adding insulating window films on sunny windows can also make a difference.
Your utility company may be able to offer you a personalized energy audit. If you go through this process, the company can often connect you with savings from preferred vendors. It could also provide you with information on local and national incentives for improving your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Keeping cool this summer doesn’t have to be a drain on your wallet. The changes you make now to stay cool could also be helpful to stay warm in the winter. With the money you save on energy-efficient options, you can enjoy your summer to the fullest!