As summer temperatures reach their peak, your electricity bills climb too. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature during these hot months is often a struggle, especially if you want to minimize costs.
These tips offer easy ways to beat the heat while increasing your electricity savings. With just a few changes to your daily schedule, you can cut down on your energy usage and costs.
10 ways to lower your power bill during the summer
1. Don’t rely on your thermostat
Your air conditioner is the best way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, but it’s also the most expensive method. Rather than turning your thermostat down, find less expensive alternatives.
Fans, for example, are a great way to cool off. You can use overhead fans or box fans to either pull hot air out of the room or create a cooling breeze. Plus, fans require much less energy to run.
If you use your air conditioner and fans together, you can turn your thermostat up about four degrees without feeling any discomfort. Fans work best when someone is in the room to enjoy them, however, so save even more by only running them in occupied rooms.
2. Keep blinds and shades closed
Leaving your blinds and curtains open during the day allows natural sunlight to illuminate your home. Unfortunately, this direct sunlight will also heat your home. No matter what you do to keep cooling costs down, you will always battle against this heat.
Whenever possible, keep your window coverings closed during the day. Use energy-efficient lights to illuminate your home instead. Or, if needed, only crack open your shades and curtains in occupied rooms.
South-facing windows will always get more direct sunlight during the summer months, so you can open up your north-facing windows for natural light without letting the heat in as well.
3. Use smart devices
Smart devices give you more control over your home’s energy usage. They offer remote access, which allows you to adjust your settings for greater efficiency no matter where you are. These intelligent devices track your energy usage as well. You can use this data to see where you can cut back and save.
Some of the top ways smart devices help you save money during the summer include:
- Scheduling temperatures – Schedule a smart thermostat to keep your home cooler while people are home and warmer when they’re not. Some smart thermostats can even learn your routines and automatically optimize your cooling system around your schedule.
- Motion-sensor activation – As mentioned, fans are most effective in occupied rooms. Choose a smart fan that includes built-in motion detectors. They will only turn on when they sense that someone is in the room to prevent energy wastage.
- Smart lighting – In the summer, you may have to leave the house while it’s still dark outside. Rather than leaving your lights on all day or stumbling around in the dark, you can schedule your lights to turn off at a specific time. Some lights also feature motion sensors so they only come on when needed. You can even install solar-powered lights outside to minimize the amount of electricity they consume.
There are many ways to customize smart devices to your home and needs. With their cutting-edge features, you can create a more energy-efficient lifestyle throughout the entire year.
4. Minimize your use of heat-producing appliances
Your cooling system is in a constant battle with outside temperatures during the summer. When you use heat-producing appliances inside, your HVAC system has to work even harder.
Avoid using your oven, stovetop, and clothes dryer as much as possible during the summer. Instead, use the microwave or cook outside on a grill. Take advantage of the sun’s heat and dry your clothes on a line outside.
Doing so will both save money on cooling costs and eliminate the cost of running these appliances.
5. Maintain your cooling system
When was the last time you had your HVAC system checked? Have you changed the air filter recently?
Your cooling system needs regular maintenance to operate at its best. This means hiring an HVAC company to check your machine for any wear or problems. It also means cleaning the vents around your home and replacing the filter on a regular basis.
6. Weatherize your home
Insulation is an important part of your home’s cooling strategy. It keeps hot air from leaking into your home and limits the amount of heat that radiates through the roof and walls.
If you know that your home needs better insulation, try to complete that project during the milder spring months. You can then save more during the summer.
Additionally, check your home for cracks, gaps, and other issues that allow air in and out. Use caulk, foam, or weather stripping to seal these cracks.
7. Get a dehumidifier
When the air is heavy with moisture, it feels hotter than it actually is. Your cooling system has to work harder to diminish the moisture as well. Get a dehumidifier to give your HVAC system a break. Just make sure to choose an energy-efficient model to truly enjoy electricity savings.
8. Open the windows
Turning your air conditioner off is a sure-proof way to save money during the summer. To keep the house cool without it, open your windows to let in a breeze. It may be too warm to use natural ventilation during the day, but you can significantly reduce indoor temperatures by opening the windows at night.
Just don’t forget to turn your thermostat off so you don’t waste your cooled air!
9. Optimize your landscaping
Trees and shrubs provide shade and a natural way to avoid the sun’s heat. Planting your landscape strategically around your home allows you to take advantage of this natural heat relief.
Use leafy trees to block the sun from your south-facing windows. Choose a home that already has large trees that keep the sun from shining on the house. These small features can have big effects on your summer power bills.