With temperatures getting warmer, it’s time for you to make a game plan on how to save energy and avoid those skyrocketing electricity bills in the summer. Nearly a quarter of home energy consumption is used on idle devices, a waste of money and energy. Nonetheless, summer is the best time to identify ways you can improve your energy-saving habits. But, how can you keep yourself cool without racking up those energy bills with record heat waves and unrelenting sun? Here are 8 simple ways you can lower your electric bills this summer.
- Know what goes into your bills
It’s always helpful to know how much energy you consume, as it can remind you to be more aware of your habits. You can have a smart meter installed to track how much energy you use and identify areas in your home that use the most energy. You can also set your energy budget on your smart meter, which alerts you when you are about to exceed your limit.
- Use fans to cool down
Fans are an excellent cost-efficient alternative if you don’t have an air conditioning system or want to reduce how much you use them. Fans are also relatively inexpensive to purchase compared to air conditioners. The biggest advantage is that with a fan, you can raise your thermostat setting higher without making you feel uncomfortable, helping you lower how much energy you spend cooling your home. You can have ceiling fans installed or strategically place standing fans around your home to circulate cool air through the summer.
- Spend some time outdoors
The summer months are the perfect time to spend most of your days embracing the outdoors. Even if it’s for a few hours each day, spending time outdoors will help you cut back on your energy consumption, saving you money on your electric bills. Instead of hanging out in your room or watching TV indoors, there are so many fun and cheap activities you can partake in outside. For instance, you can spend time reading or creating a garden in the sun. You can also enjoy the warm evenings by walking or hanging out on your deck or patio.
- Make the most out of natural daylight
Daylight lasts longer during the summer months, and you can take full advantage of it. The natural light you get should be capable of brightening up your home so you wouldn’t need to rely on turning your indoor lights on. Lighting accounts for about one-third of your electric bill, so doing this can save you some money.
If you can afford to, you can have solar panels installed to help you generate your electricity. The best thing about this method of saving energy is that you can save it in a battery to use at a future date. Another way of taking advantage of the sunlight is by doing otherwise energy-consuming chores. For example, you can dry your clothes outside instead of using your tumble dryer.
Your curtains also play a role in how you utilize daylight during this season. The amount of natural light you let in influences your home’s temperature. For example, if you keep them closed for most of the day, your room may be a bit warmer as they may trap heat. So, be sure to properly manipulate your curtains or blinds to find ways to bring more light and keep your home cool.
- Buy an energy-efficient air conditioner
There’s nothing like a cool and comfortable home in the summer with your central AC. However, it can be difficult to enjoy the cool breeze when you are constantly worried about the spike in your energy bill when payments are due. Luckily, several advances in air conditioning technology have made it possible for you to cool your home 24/7 without worrying too much about the financial losses. Many experts recommend mini-split AC systems when it comes to energy-saving cooling appliances. The mini-split energy use is significantly less than your standard central AC unit, so keep this in mind.
Energy-efficient AC systems come with several advantages. It improves airflow throughout your home, but it also reduces the impact on the environment. Plus, most of these new ACs come with remote-controlled thermostats to help you regulate your home’s temperature more efficiently.
- Switch your lighting to LED bulbs
One of the best ways to save money on your electricity bills is to replace all incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient LED ones. Unlike incandescent bulbs, which release most of their energy as heat, LED bulbs convert that energy into light. Plus, LEDs have longer lifespans, use less energy, and are more cost-effective.
- Watch your water consumption
You might not think of your water consumption when thinking about saving energy. However, these two aspects go hand-in-hand. There are several household activities that require using water and energy. The average washing machine has features that allow it to hot water, which uses energy. Therefore, instead of using hot water for your machine this summer, you can switch to a more energy-efficient setting.
If you can treat any deep stains before throwing your clothes in for a wash, cold water would do the job just as well. You should also ensure you make the most out of your laundry load, especially since it’s more cost-effective to do a single load than separate loads.
You might also use a lot of water unconsciously during the summer months. Because of the heat, you might spend extra minutes washing off your sweat and grime. If you use hot water, it can quickly rack up your bills. Instead, you can replace your standard showerhead with an eco-showerhead that reduces the amount of water coming through.
Now that you have an idea of reducing your electricity expenses this summer, you can enjoy the warmer months without worrying about steep spikes in your electricity bills. When you watch your energy consumption, you can save more money on your electricity bills.