As temperatures rise, so can your electric bill. Summer months don’t have to drain your wallet, however, as a few simple tricks can help you save energy and curtail spending. All it takes is a little effort and forethought.
Especially in northern regions where temperatures cool off at night, make ceiling or box fans work hard instead of the air conditioner. Did you know a high-quality fan can make the room feel about 4 degrees cooler? The constant air circulation cools the skin and keeps you comfortable. But remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room.
Bring the Outdoors In
Along with electric fans, opening windows can let the breeze inside, ventilating the space and optimizing comfort. Not only will nature cool you off, but airing out your home can mitigate musty smells and boost your mood.
Heating and cooling your house make up more than half the monthly energy bill, so investing in up-to-date systems can be the smartest move you make this summer. When browsing brands, make sure you choose one that’s Energy Star certified–a designation given by the EPA meaning the system has passed rigorous energy-efficiency guidelines. Energy Star appliances use 15 percent less energy and save you money every month.
Use Blinds, Shades, or Curtains
Of course, natural light can brighten the home. Depending on which direction the house faces and the time of day, however, too much sun can make indoor temperatures feel stifling. Investing in heat-reducing window treatments can help you let the sunlight in or keep it out depending on the circumstance.
Unplug and Unwind
Vampire appliances–those that suck energy even when not in use–account for unnecessary costs each month. Taking a few minutes to unplug chargers, televisions and other small electronics when you don’t plan to use them can save you up to $100 each year…and every bit counts.
A kitchen hot with appliance use can raise indoor temperatures, making the air conditioner work harder to cool the space. Whether you grill on the patio or prepare no-cook meals, giving the kitchen a break can help everyone stay cool.
Watch Thermostat Settings
Keeping temperatures cool in winter and warm in summer can save you hundreds your monthly bills. Even better, turn the air off when you plan to be away from home for more than four hours.