As the temperatures rise with the summertime months, you may have noticed that your electric bill has a tendency to do the same. There are a number of measures you can take, however, to help reduce your electric bill…even in the summer months. Check out our list of helpful tips:
- Keep the thermostat set to 78 degrees or higher during the hot summer months, and on cooler days, turn off the AC completely and open the windows to let the breeze in and cool off naturally.
- Consider installing screen doors or windows if you’re concerned about bugs getting in the house.
- Close the blinds or curtains when you’re not at home (or whenever possible) to prevent the sun from heating up your home. Note that sunlight coming through your windows and glass doors has your AC working overtime to cool down your house, and this dramatically increases your electric bill.
- Be sure to replace your air conditioner filters regularly. Dirty or old filters can restrict airflow and cause your AC to run for longer periods of time. For maximum efficiency, replace your AC filters every month.
- Seal leaks around your home’s windows or doors with weather-strip, seal and caulk in order to prevent cool air from escaping. These measures will also help keep your home insulated when the weather cools down again in the fall and winter.
- Consider installing a whole house fan. These fans are permanently installed in your home’s attic and draw cool air in through the windows, while forcing the warm air out of the attic vents. These fans are more efficient when used in the evening (after sundown) and in the early morning.
- Window tints, shades, solar-control window films, and strategically placed shrubbery or trees can help naturally shade your home and cut down on your energy costs. – If you’ve got an old or outdated air conditioning unit, consider investing in an ENERGY STAR® approved AC.
- Turn off your ceiling fans when you’re not in the room. Remember – fans cool by creating a wind chill effect, so they will not actually lower the temperature in a room, and they become pointless when nobody is home!
In the Car
- Try to stick within the speed limits, especially on the highway. Driving faster may impact your fuel efficiency.
- Roll down the windows and turn off the air conditioning. If you must use the AC, be sure to turn it down once your car is sufficiently cool.
Around the Home
- The sun is nature’s dryer! Line dry your clothes whenever possible.
- Set your swimming pool’s filter/automatic cleaning sweep to only four or five hours (do not let it run all day – this is totally unnecessary!). For maximum efficiency, ask a local pool maintenance company how often your pool filter needs to run and be sure your settings reflect this minimum.
- Use the microwave instead of the oven whenever possible. Your microwave uses about two-thirds less energy than the stove, and it will not heat up your house as much as the stove or oven. If you must use the stove, be sure to turn on the ventilation fans as soon as possible after cooking.
- Unless you’re washing only a dish or two, your dishwasher actually uses LESS water than hand washing does. Be sure to fill your dishwasher completely before running it!
Voila! Following these simple (and mostly low or no cost) tips can help you save some green while living greener, too. Have summertime energy efficiency tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Let us know via Facebook or on Twitter.