10 Ways to Save Money on Your Energy Bill This Summer
As temperatures heat up in summer, so does our need to cool our homes – which in turn drives up energy bills. But there are ways you can control costs without compromising comfort; here we’ll look at 10 proven strategies that could save money on energy expenses this summer – from optimizing thermostat settings and energy-saving appliances to adopting smart habits, we have you covered!
1. Using Your Thermostat Efficiently
Setting your thermostat:
An easy and cost-effective way to reduce energy costs is to adjust your thermostat settings effectively. In summer months, it is advised to set it as high as is comfortable – setting your thermostat should also help conserve energy costs by keeping temperatures cooler in winter months. Every degree lower can increase your cooling costs by up to 5%. Try setting it to 78°F when you’re home and raising it when you’re away.
Using a programmable thermostat:
Investing in a programmable thermostat can further boost your energy savings. These devices allow you to create a cooling schedule that automatically adjusts the temperature based on your preferences and daily routine. Program your thermostats so they will increase in temperature when you arrive at work and decrease before your return, ensuring you only need to cool your space when necessary.
2. Energy-Efficient Appliances
Choosing energy-saving appliances:
When shopping for new appliances, pay special attention to their energy efficiency ratings. Look for appliances displaying the ENERGY STAR label as these meet stringent energy efficiency guidelines established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. These appliances consume less electricity, reducing your energy bills and environmental impact.
Regular maintenance of appliances:
Don’t forget about your existing appliances. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning refrigerator coils and dryer vents, can help them operate at peak efficiency. Dirty or clogged components can cause appliances to work harder, consuming more energy in the process.
3. Unplugging Electronics
Turning off and unplugging unused electronics:
Many electronic devices still draw power even when switched off; this phenomenon is known as “phantom power” or “vampire power.” To stop it, unplug chargers, gaming consoles and kitchen appliances when not in use. Alternatively, use smart power strips that can automatically cut power to devices when they’re turned off.
Using power strips:
Power strips are a convenient way to group multiple devices together and control their power supply with a single switch. This makes it easier to completely disconnect energy-hungry electronics when you’re not using them, preventing them from sapping energy in standby mode.
4. Switching to Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
Replacing traditional bulbs with LED bulbs:
Traditional incandescent bulbs waste energy as heat. By switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs, you could cut your lighting energy consumption by up to 75% and save yourself some serious cash. LEDs also last much longer than traditional bulbs, saving you money on replacements.
Using natural light whenever possible:
During daylight hours, make the most of natural light by opening curtains and blinds. This reduces the need for artificial lighting and helps keep your home cooler, further lowering your energy usage.
5. Efficient Use of Your Dishwasher
Running full loads:
When using your dishwasher, always aim to run full loads. Running partial loads wastes both water and electricity. If you have a dishwasher with an energy-saving setting, use it to reduce energy consumption even further.
Using energy-saving dishwasher settings:
Modern dishwashers often offer energy-saving settings that reduce water and electricity usage without compromising cleanliness. Take advantage of these settings to minimize energy use without compromising cleanliness.
6. Regularly Replacing Your Air Filter
Importance of clean air filters:
Lowering the temperature setting on your water heater can save energy while decreasing scalding risk. Set it at 120°F (49°C) to strike an equilibrium between hot water availability and energy efficiency.
How often to replace air filters:
Check your air filter monthly and replace it when it’s dirty or at least every three months. This simple maintenance task can lead to significant energy savings and better indoor air quality.
7. Reducing Water Heater Energy Consumption
Lowering water heater temperature:
Reduce energy waste and avoid scalding with lower temperature settings on your water heater, setting it to 120°F can help achieve both hot water availability and cost efficiency.
Insulating your water heater:
Insulating your water heater and hot water pipes is one way to combat heat loss, helping ensure hot water remains hotter for longer. Insulating also saves both energy and money in terms of reduced heating needs for your heater – cutting back both energy costs as well as costs related to reheating costs.
8. Maintaining Your Air Conditioning
Cleaning air conditioner filters:
Dirty air conditioner filters restrict airflow and force your AC unit to work harder to cool your home. Clean or replace filters regularly, especially during the summer months, to ensure your system runs efficiently.
Scheduling professional air conditioner maintenance:
Consider scheduling professional HVAC maintenance before the summer heat hits. Technicians can inspect and clean your system, ensuring it operates at peak efficiency. Regular maintenance can also extend the lifespan of your air conditioner.
9. Maximizing Energy Efficiency of Heat Pump
Using heat pump settings effectively:
Heat pumps are versatile systems that can both heat and cool your home efficiently. Make sure you’re using the appropriate settings for the season. During summer, set your heat pump to “cool” mode to enjoy energy-efficient cooling.
Regular maintenance of heat pump:
Similar to air conditioners, heat pumps benefit from regular maintenance. Clean the filters, coils, and outdoor unit to keep your heat pump operating efficiently and reduce energy consumption.
10. Using Electricity Wisely
Avoiding unnecessary electricity usage:
Be mindful of your electricity consumption during peak hours when rates are higher. Delay energy-intensive tasks like laundry and dishwashing until off-peak hours, and consider investing in smart home devices that can help you track and manage your electricity usage.
Being mindful of energy prices:
Keep an eye on electricity rates and consider switching to a time-of-use (TOU) plan if available in your area. TOU plans offer lower rates during off-peak hours, encouraging you to use energy when it’s more cost-effective.
Additional Strategies to Save Energy and Money
- Sealing energy leaks in your home: Inspect your home for drafts and energy leaks, especially around windows, doors, and electrical outlets. Seal any gaps or cracks with weatherstripping or caulk to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering.
- Using natural ventilation instead of air conditioning: On cooler summer evenings and mornings, turn off the air conditioner and open windows to let in fresh air. Using natural ventilation can help lower indoor temperatures without the need for energy-intensive cooling.
Beating the Heat without Breaking the Bank – Conclusion
Using fans to supplement air conditioning:
Ceiling fans and floor fans can create a wind-chill effect, making you feel cooler without lowering the thermostat. By using fans strategically, you can reduce your reliance on air conditioning and save on energy costs.
Closing curtains and blinds during the hottest hours:
Keep curtains and blinds closed during peak solar hours to block out heat, significantly decreasing your need for air conditioning while creating a cooler indoor environment. This simple step can save money and energy costs over time!
By following these 10 strategies to save money on energy bills this summer, you can enjoy a comfortable home without the financial stress associated with high energy costs. Whether it’s optimizing your thermostat, choosing energy-efficient appliances, or adopting smart energy-saving habits, every effort counts towards a more sustainable and cost-effective summer season. So, stay cool, save energy, and keep your wallet happy this summer.