How Can I Reduce My Electric Bill in the Summer?
When temperatures climb, so does your electric bill. Air conditioners are a requirement for many people these days, and when the summer heat spikes, utility costs can, too. However, you don't have to live in discomfort to keep summer expenses low. Let’s look at how to better manage your electricity costs this summer—while staying comfortable!
Be mindful of your electric usage
Start by taking stock of what you really need your energy for. Do you need to do that load of laundry in the middle of the day? Should the lights be on even when you have sunlight streaming in? Utilities constantly work off supply and demand, so using energy when other people aren’t (like early in the day or late at night) is another great way to be more efficient. The goal with mindfulness is to see what you can remove or adjust for the summer while your air conditioning is spinning your meter. Consider this a bonus hack, but by making slight changes to your routine, you can keep costs on pace with the rest of the year, even while you’re cooling your home every day. Then, once the cool weather returns, you can go back to your usual routine.
1. Evaluate how you use your energy
Just because you can turn the lights on, doesn’t mean you should. If there is enough light coming in from Mother Nature, go ahead and skip the electricity. The clothes dryer is another energy drain that you can avoid in the summer. Take it back to the way grandma dried her clothes and use a clothes line. Supplement your dryer usage by separating out these larger items for line drying.
2. Conduct an efficiency blitz around the house
Even when you aren’t using power, your home is probably still drawing power. So, try an “efficiency blitz” to help curb needless energy use. To do this, give these four tips a try:
- Replace your furnace filter. This can make a difference in how efficiently your house uses energy.
- When you bake, try using the light instead of opening the door to check for doneness. Letting that heat out makes your AC work harder as well as your oven.
- This summer pull the curtains and close vents in the rooms you aren’t using to minimize the load on your air conditioner.
- Unplug chargers and devices when you are done with them. Don’t let energy vampires into your house! When technology is plugged in, even when it is turned off, it still pulls electricity from the outlet—an energy vampire!
3. Program your thermostat and fans
This energy-efficient hack packs a powerful punch. Here's what you can do to make a big difference with a small change:
- Install a learning thermostat, such as a Nest Learning Thermostat™, to manage your air conditioning.
- Set some pedestal fans around the house on timers.
- Set the fans to turn on an hour before you typically return from work.
4. Fix your electric supply for predictable costs
Locking in a fixed rate on your electricity supply before the heat reaches its peak allows you to weather any spikes in market prices. Work with an energy supplier to gain peace of mind that your rate won’t jump even if electricity prices go up.