Summer may not be optional, but you do have control over your summertime electric bill. Here are some ways to help you stay cool without breaking the bank.
Electric bills typically increase due to energy for things like:
- Air-conditioning — nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes have some kind of AC.
- Swimming pools — There are 10.4 million residential pools in the U.S. and that means a lot of pool pumps.
- School’s out — The kids are home. We’re talking more power for televisions, computer games and of course, the refrigerator.
The following tips can help you stay cooler for less:
Programmable thermostats. Properly using these is important so you get the best benefit. Keep temperature settings at their set points for long periods of time — at least eight hours. That can cover the overnight hours or when everyone is away at work for the day. Try to resist overriding those settings because it could cost you more.
Shades and blinds. Here’s a simple, tried and true solution: Keep shades and blinds drawn during the day to block out the sun and keep things cooler indoors.
Ceiling fans. They use far less electricity than air conditioners and use the wind-chill effect to help you feel cooler. However, they’re meant to cool people, not rooms, so turn off the fan when you leave.
Reduce indoor heat. During the day, try to avoid the use of heat-producing appliances like your stove. Your home also will stay cooler if you use LED lights instead of incandescent light bulbs. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
Maintenance. Be sure to schedule regular maintenance on your air-conditioning system to keep it running smoothly. And don’t forget about air filters. Change them regularly to help maintain system efficiency.
Saving energy and money isn’t limited to one season of the year. Keep cool this summer. Have fun too!