Does your electric bill have you sweating bullets this summer? If you’ve been watching it go up and up along with the temperature, it might be time to take some smart steps to reduce your energy consumption.
The good news is that there are a lot of small things you can do that add up to big changes. And you can do them with little or no inconvenience. Try as many of these as you can and watch the money melt from your bill like an ice cream cone at the boardwalk!
Nobody wants to break a sweat while watching TV but chances are you can survive in something other than sub-arctic temperatures. You can save approximately 1% for every degree you raise the temperature in your home.
That means if you can survive at 75 degrees instead of 65, you could knock a full 10% off your summer energy bills. Even if you can only raise it a few degrees, this is all about small changes that add up. Start somewhere!
Don’t want to raise the temperature? Well, you can trick your body into thinking it’s up to 7 degrees cooler just by turning on a ceiling fan.
That may sound counterintuitive – after all, you have to use electricity to run the fan. But a fan costs a lot less to run than an energy-hungry air conditioner. That means you can actually raise the temperature without noticing.Ready to install some ceiling fans? Get in touch for a free estimate.
If you’re still relying on the old “remember to raise the temperature when you leave” method, it’s time for a programmable thermostat. You can raise the temperature all you want, but if your air conditioner is cooling an empty house, it’s simply money wasted.
Better yet, go for a thermostat that you can control from your smart phone. Then you can minimize energy use when you’re not home, and lower the temperature in advance of your arrival so your home will be cool when you get there.
Not using the toaster? Unplug it. Not using that lamp? Unplug it. And turning it off is not the same.
Did you know that even when appliances and equipment are off, they still consume electricity? In fact, they could add a whopping 15% to your electric bill! Get in the habit of unplugging things you’re not using. Put multiple items on power strips to make it easier. This is one tip that can save you money all year long.
In fact, turn off any electronics that are not in use. Computers, audio systems and televisions all generate heat. That makes it harder for your air conditioner to do its job. And when your air conditioner has to work harder, it costs you more money.
If you take our last bit of advice, you’ll put your electronics on a power strip, then shut them down and unplug them when not in use for maximum savings.
Heating water can account for as much as 15% of your energy bill. You could opt for cool showers during the summer, but if that’s not your style, you can still save money by doing laundry in cold water.
There are plenty of detergents formulated for cold water if you’re worried about stinky summer socks. Otherwise, your beach towels and extra t-shirts will do just fine in cold water rather than hot.
Go old school and hang your laundry in the yard. You’ll end up with fresh-smelling clothes that won’t cost you a dryer sheet or the electricity to run another appliance. Plus, the dryer won’t be throwing off heat and making your air conditioner work harder.
While you’re at it, skip the dry cycle on your dishwasher. You’d be surprised by how much heat that can give off, and you’ll save on electricity, too.
“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” You’ve probably heard that one before, and in this case the old cliché is true. Humid air feels warmer, and it messes with your ability to sweat, which is your own natural cooling system. That means you have to lower the temperate to get comfortable, and that means more money to run your air conditioner.
If you suffer the effects of humidity or if you’ve got a particularly damp room like a basement, try a dehumidifier. You can use a portable one, or have a whole house dehumidifier installed for maximum benefit.
Yes, they’re more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but they last a whole lot longer (compare their 10,000 hour lifespan to 1,000 hours for an incandescent) and they cost less to run.
Plus, they don’t throw off the heat of an incandescent bulb, which means your home will be that much easier to cool.Need wiring for new outlets, sockets, an air conditioner or something else? Get in touch!
Your house, that is. We mentioned installing a smart thermostat, but there are other smart components that could save you money and make life a whole lot more convenient.
For example, lighting timers can turn lights on and off only when needed, so you won’t have to worry about the outdoor floods being on 24/7 if you forget about them. And when you can control lights from your smart phone, you won’t have to worry that you went on vacation and left them on to drain your wallet while you’re away.
A central air conditioning unit can lose up to 15% of its efficiency in a year. If you don’t have yours maintained regularly, that could add up to a real increase in energy bills. Your best bet is to hire a professional and have your system tuned up every spring.
In between, be sure to change filters at least every three months, more if you have pets. Dirty filters can make your unit work harder – and cost you more to run.
While you don’t want to block the sun entirely (something you’ll probably regret come winter!), it can help to shade windows and even the side of the house from the beating summer sun.
Even a strategically placed small tree can start to work in its first year. Or try a trellis with creeping flowers or vines to block sun and keep your home cooler during summer. They’ll die off during the winter and leave the space open to light and warmth.
There’s no magic bullet for saving money on summer electric bills, but if you make as many small changes as you can, you’ll start to notice results quickly.
And if you’re looking for a reliable electrician to install fans, replace outlets, upgrade lighting systems, install smart home components or something else, get in touch for a free estimate. We’ll schedule a visit to your home and make recommendations for options to best suit your needs.