Seeing your energy bill during the summer months can be a strenuous experience with the cost for electricity soaring due to the high heat of summer. However, turning off the electricity or going without air conditioning is generally not a realistic option, especially with temperatures in the triple digits. While we cannot cut these costs completely, there are ways to minimize their impact on our wallets. In fact, here are ten ways to reduce your electric bill immediately:
- Check with your electricity provider to see if they have a plan that would better suit your needs. Some plans offer peak hours during times when most people are at work, making it easy to avoid using appliances during those hours. Off-peak hours can be significantly lower than the normal rates, which can lead to a substantially reduced bill.
- Install CFL bulbs. CFL bulbs use less electricity and create far less heat than standard light bulbs - a win-win scenario!
- Check the sealing on your windows and doors. If these are worn down, some new caulking is a cheap and easy way to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
- Immediately close doors and windows after any use to minimize losing your expensive cool air.
- Decide what you need from the fridge or freezer before opening the doors and staring at the contents. Also, keep your fridge and freezer at least 6" from any exterior walls to avoid heat transference.
- Use fans strategically. Ceiling fans and stand fans can help you feel significantly cooler at minimal cost.
- Turn off and unplug electronics and appliances while not in use. Did you know that a TV that is turned off but plugged in will continue to use energy? Unplug these appliances when not in use.
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater and turn it off when not in use. Your water heater is constantly running in order to keep water heated all day long - even when you don't need it. Put a timer on your water heater to turn it off while you're away for work, during peak usage hours, and during the night.
- Clean and replace your air filters regularly. A dirty air filter causes your air conditioning unit to run less efficiently, using more energy and putting more wear and tear on your unit. We recommend vacuuming the dust from your filters monthly and replacing them completely every three months.
- Keep any windows covered with blinds or curtains during the hot hours of the day. By minimizing the sunlight that gets into your home, you can noticeably reduce the internal temperature.
By following these ten simple steps you can instantly decrease your electric bill. We recommend planting trees around your home to provide additional shade and natural cooling. Also, during the off-season have any repairs and regular check-ups done on your air conditioning unit. Costs are far lower during the off-season due to lower demand, which can save you a substantial amount of money and help you avoid summer-time AC unit failures.