As the temperatures skyrocket, power bills seem to do the same, but you can stop them!
Cutting your electric bills doesn’t have to mean buying a bunch of gadgets — or sitting alone in the dark.
I live with sunny weather all year round, so air conditioning usage accounts for most of my bill. If you live in a colder part of the country, however, heat can cause you cost more. Either way, you can use the thermostat more efficiently with simple tricks.
- Set your air conditioner thermostat as high as comfortable – some recommend 78ºF or higher when you’re home. Use a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature.While this may sound entirely too hot for the summer months, you may be surprised to find that it is just low enough to keep you cool. Many opt for a temperature of 72 degrees, or even lower in some cases. It is your choice, but the lower you go, the more you are going to pay on your electric bill. Getting a programmable thermostat can also help you set the temperature higher when you’re gone during the day at work and cooler when you’re home at night.
- Have your central air conditioner tuned up and clean or replace filters monthly for more efficient operation.Before the summer, get your AC inspected to make sure your system is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible. Clean air filters, some units require monthly cleaning.
- Keep the blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night. This is a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler.If you spend of the your day outside of the house, see your thermostat to automatically shit off the AC when you’re away. To keep the sun from heating your rooms, close the blinds when you’re not home.
- Window, ceiling and whole-house fans are also low-cost ways to stay comfortable.overhead fans get air circulating which helps delay turning on the air conditioning, especially if you can also leave windows open on cool summer evenings.
- Minimize indoor heat: run the dryer and dishwasher at night on hot days and let your dishes air dry. Avoid heat-generating incandescent lighting and use a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill instead of the oven. It’s best to avoid the use of major appliances between 2 and 8 p.m.
- Set your water heater to 120ºF.
- Wash clothes in cold water and clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Plug home electronics, such as TVs, DVD players and computers into power strips and turn off the power strips when the equipment is not in use.Turn off lights when you are not using rooms, try to rely on natural light more often.
- Eliminate, or deactivate, extra freezers or refrigerators if you can, especially if they spend the summer outdoors or in a garage.Keep the refrigerator doors closed whenever possible. Also, avoid placing hot items in the fridge – let them cool to room temperature first.Heat up the food, not the house. A microwave is much more efficient (and quicker!) at heating things up than an oven, especially if you’re trying to stay cool with air conditioning.
- If you have a pool: consider slowly reducing pool filtration time by 30 minute increments daily. Keep on reducing the time as long as the water appears clean. You may find you only need to run your pool filter six hours a day. Install a timer to control the length of time that the pool pump cycles on.
Hope you have a great summer and find ways to save in the heat!