Electricity bills in the summer can be brutal! Our summer rates are double and triple what they are in the winter. If you’re lazy about conserving electricity in the winter, there is some serious motivation to buckle down in the summertime.
1. Be Smart with Your Thermostat
It feels good to blast the AC after getting home from a workout, time spent outside, or just a generally sweltering summer day. But it probably won’t feel so good later when you see that your utility bills have skyrocketed. Keep in mind that for every degree you raise your thermostat above 72º, you save up to 3% of your cooling expenses. Try setting your thermostat to 78º, or as high as your comfort allows.
When you’re away from home, set the temperature even higher or, if it’s not too hot, turn it off altogether so you don’t waste air conditioning on an empty house. If you install a smart or programmable thermostat, you won’t have to go through the trouble of manually changing the temperature each time you leave. These thermostats will automatically adjust your home’s climate control while you’re away.
2. Don’t cook
Many of us would love an excuse not to cook. Am I right? Not only does cooking take electricity, it heats up your home. Summer is a great time to have a salad for dinner. (I hated salad until I was in my twenties, but this was the cure for me.) If you like to grill, that’s a great way to keep the heat outside. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I’m not above serving cold cereal for dinner on a hot day.
3. Keep Track of Your Electronics
When you place heat-generating devices such as lamps or TVs near air-conditioning thermostats, you can trick them into thinking the room is hotter than it really is. Your thermostat will sense the heat from these devices and spend extra energy trying to cool the house down. Be mindful of where your thermostats are and try to keep electronics away from them. Devices like computers, curling irons, hair dryers, stereos, and televisions heat up your house as well, so make sure they’re turned off when they’re not being used
4. Ditch the dryer
If you already have a clothesline installed at your house, then it’s just a matter of choosing to use it. If you don’t have a clothesline, then putting one up might take a little effort (more than the other suggestions on my list), but it will quickly pay for itself.
A couple of weeks ago I finally put up a clothesline at our new house. I had it on my “Honey Do” list for a while, but Honey was busy with a million and one other things, so I grabbed some clothesline rope and some clothes pins at the store and did it myself. Every time I use it I get excited about the savings.