When you're trying to keep cool during the heat of summer, you may see your power bills climb. If you want to keep both your home's temperature and your bills lower, here's a quick guide on cutting summer energy costs.
Improve airflow, keep out heat
- Get air circulating. Use fans to cool the interior of your home without having to crank up the AC.
- Try a reusable air filter. You can clean it often to optimize its performance and won't have to buy a bunch of disposable filters.
- Block extra sunlight. Put up blackout curtains to keep the sun's heat from entering through windows. You could also choose to get solar screens and window films to help with this.
Use appliances more efficiently or less often
- Program your thermostat to a higher temperature during times you're not home, and keep the air conditioning temperature at a moderate setting when you're around. Also ensure that your AC unit is tuned up and running properly for maximum efficiency.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater. About 120 degrees should work, but you can also bump it down from its highest setting.
- Keep oven/stove use to a minimum, or cook with them in the evening when temperatures drop. If you have a grill, cook outside instead.
- Run only full loads in dishwashers and washing machines.
- Skip the dry cycle on the dishwasher.
- Wash clothes in cooler water, and hang clothes to dry on a clothesline.
To make handling your summer bills easier, it may also help to check in with your utility company about paying in flat rates. If this option is available, you could have your bills divided into equal amounts over the entire year rather than being stuck with high bills during certain seasons.
For more ideas on how to keep your summer bills down, go to:
- 5 Ways to Save Energy During the Dog Days of Summer
- 5 ways to slice summer power bills
- 9 ways to save on air conditioning costs