When the temperature gets high in the summer, utility bills tend to as well. It can be difficult keeping your house cool, even with the AC running all day. No need to sweat (pun intended), we’ve done some research and compiled a list of tips and tricks to help keep utility bills down, all while maximizing your savings!
Capture the cool air – keep out the heat
Check your local forecast to see if temperatures drop at night. On those nights when the air is cool, open your windows and turn fans on to give the AC a break. If you’re comfortable doing so, leave some windows open while you sleep and when you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture that cool air.
Changing the filters & keeping vents clear
The more dust that your air filter collects, the harder your AC has to work. Change the filters on a monthly basis and try vacuuming any noticeable dust blocking up your vents. Don’t forget to clear any debris around your outside unit too!
Become a thermostat virtuoso
Look, it’s nice coming home on a hot day to a cool, chill house, but what’s not cool – is your upcoming utility bill. Try adjusting your thermostat as high as comfortably possible before leaving the house. Don’t set it too high though, because once you return, the AC unit will have to work even harder to get the temperature down.
Fans, Curtains, Bears...OH MY!
Not so much bears, but invest in nice curtains and utilize ceiling fans, or any fans you have! Using the AC along with ceiling fans will allow you to raise the thermostat by 3-4°F. However, when you leave the room, turn the fans off. Fans cool people, not rooms. Also, set them to rotate counterclockwise in the summer to bring cool air down and clockwise in the winter.
Block out the sunlight with your curtains. Don’t worry, shutting your curtains during the day won’t make you seem like some reclusive hermit, just try focusing on which windows let the most sunlight in and shut those curtains.
Other tips on hot days
• Avoid using the oven or doing laundry. Cook on the stove, grill, use the microwave and plan to do laundry in the evening. And when doing laundry, minimize the loads - be sure you have full loads.
• Use efficient lighting. (energy.gov lighting choices to save you money)
• For lighting during the day, avoid using lamps and strategically utilize the daylight without letting direct sunlight roast the house.
• Take showers instead of baths.
• Turn down the temperature of your water heater to a warm setting.
• Check out alternative options offered from your power/energy provider.
• Use your dishwasher (if you have one) over washing dishes manually.
• Unplug everything. This seems unnecessary and difficult, but leaving things plugged in can draw charges up on your electric bill.
• Run appliances at night. Your power company may charge different rates during the day. Find out how to tell if your power company charges two rates by looking at your outdoor meter for two rows of numbers. (Understand electricity meters)
• Upgrade appliances if you’re able to.
Most of the tips listed above are FREE! So take advantage of them and save money during those hot, muggy days. Happy summer everyone!
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