Summertime is often a time we see an unwelcome spike in our energy costs. Between air conditioning, fans, and pool filters running all day, we find ourselves looking for ways to cut our electric bills as much as possible. By adjusting our behaviors and making a few relatively simple and inexpensive changes, we can bring those electric bills down to a more reasonable amount.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. By presetting the times your air conditioning system kicks on and off, and programming a predetermined temperature for your home, you have the potential of cutting your electric costs by up to 20 percent.
- Keep your windows covered. While many people opt for lighter curtains in the summer months, by replacing them with room darkening drapes or using shades or blinds, the heat from the summer sun is kept at bay and this will help maintain cooler temperatures inside.
- Turn the lights during the day. Keeping lights on will generate more heat, which will in turn make your air conditioning work harder to keep the temperatures comfortable.
- Turn off or cut down the usage of your air conditioner when not needed. Many people have a habit of leaving their systems running even when there are not home or when its not needed. By utilizing the use of fans instead of the steady use of your air conditioning system, you have the potential of seeing great savings.
- Consider investing in standing floor fans and ceiling fans. While they won’t actually change the temperature in the room, they will circulate the air and provide a cool breeze, which is sometimes just enough to make you comfortable.
- Swap out your old appliances for Energy Star appliances. Energy Star appliances meet energy-efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Choosing to use an Energy Start air conditioner, which uses about 15% less energy than other air conditioners, could save you up to $85 over the lifespan of the unit.
- Swap your bulbs. Changing your old standard bulbs out for LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) can save you up to $50 per bulb throughout its lifespan. These upgraded bulbs are energy efficient, have a much longer lifespan, and also emit less heat, which will help to keep your rooms cooler in the warm summer months.
- Unplug. And that doesn’t just mean to put your phone or laptop down. It means unplug your electronics when they’re not in use. Most appliances and electronics continue to draw and use electricity even when not in use. The only way to stop this “vampire energy” is to actually unplug the devises or use a smart strip surge protector which will automatically cut the power when not used.
- Go solar. This option isn’t just beneficial in the summer months, it is an option that will offer a significant savings in your energy costs throughout the year.
- Rethink your load of laundry. When doing laundry, avoid half loads. The washing machine will use the same amount of water whether you add a half load or full load to the machine, so don’t waste water or electricity running the machine when just half full. The same principal is true for running your dish washer.
While its not expected that anyone can or will make all of these changes all at once, choosing to make even a few of the changes will provide a pleasant savings in your summer energy costs.