Going Green

Energy Saving Tips for Keeping Utility Bills Low in Summer Weather

Learn how to beat the heat without it costing you in your wallet. Here are five energy saving tips to help keep your utility bills low this summer.

Five Ways to Slash Your Energy Use This Summer

Most families have a love/hate relationship with summer. On one hand, there are those beautiful days where the sun is shining, the temperature is pleasant, and all is right with the world. Then there are those days where the mercury is threatening to break through the top of the thermometer, and everything is sticky and sweaty, and your electric meter spins in an ever-quickening spiral as your air conditioner sucks the hot air out of your home and the money out of your pocket.

This year, don’t be a victim to out of control energy bills. Here are five easy tips to help you reduce your energy use this summer so you can budget more for that vacation you have in mind.


#1: Pay Attention to Peak Hours

The energy companies aren’t stupid. In recent years, most energy providers started charging different rates for different times of the day, and during peak use hours, you can expect to hit the hardest. So this summer, change your routine so you use less energy during peak hours.

One way to do this is to run your dishwasher at night. This will save you some money, and the heat it produces during the drying cycle won’t affect you while you’re sleeping. You can also make a habit of charging your electrical devices at night as well instead of throughout the day.


#2: Raise the Thermostat

Did you know that for every temperature degree you lower your thermostat in the summer, you’re adding 6% to your energy costs? So, keep your indoor temperature as high as you can stand it and rely on your ceiling fans for additional cooling. Ideally, your indoor temperature during the summer should be right around 78 degrees for the best balance of comfort and cost.

When you’re leaving the house, you should raise your thermostat even higher, up to 85 degrees. You don’t want to turn your air conditioner totally off, however, as when you get home, it will have to work a lot harder to cool the home back down and this will counteract your saving strategy.

How to Keep Your Utility Bills Low in Summer Weather

#3: Get Your HVAC System Serviced

A well-maintained HVAC system is simply more energy efficient than one that is left to its own devices. A new air filter should be installed prior to the start of summer, and you should have a professional HVAC technician look over your system. By doing this, you’ll not only enjoy a more efficient HVAC system, but you’ll also be extending the life of one your home’s most expensive components.


#4: Adjust Your Cooking Habits in Summer

Most money-saving families rarely dine out because it’s an unnecessary expense. But, if you use your oven to cook dinner, the heat it produces could be costing you even more in your energy bills.

This summer, start thinking more about alternative cooking solutions. From grilling outside to using the microwave to using a crock pot or air fryer, there are several alternatives to using your oven that will help keep the hot air out of your home so your AC doesn’t have to work as hard.


#5: Keep Your Drapes Closed During the Day

As if the temperature outside isn’t enough, the sun that pours into your home unabated can really heat up your interior during the hottest parts of the day. So, invest in some insulated drapes and put them on the windows that face the sun in the afternoon.

The insulated drapes will prevent the sun’s UV rays from penetrating your home, and your air conditioner will thank you for it by giving you a break on your energy bill.


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Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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