Do you shudder at the thought of opening your electric bill in the middle of summer? Compared to the rest of the year, summer power bills can cost two to three times more. For the most part, air conditioners use the most energy during these hot months and it may seem impossible to save money without sacrificing comfort.
But there are some simple things you can do this summer to save money on your electric bill. Just remember — it’s all about the little things.
Hide Your Hair Dryer in the Cabinet
Any appliances or devices that give off a ton of heat will use a lot of electricity. And while it’s OK to use your hair dryer during the spring, fall and winter, it would be a good idea to let your hair air dry during the summer. Also, using a hair dryer will heat up the room you’re using it in which can be totally uncomfortable during those 90 degree days.
Cover That Pot!
It can be absolutely brutal to cook during the summer. But when you do, use a lid on pots on the stove when possible, especially if you’re boiling water. Interestingly enough, water will boil faster when using a lid. This means that you can turn off the burner sooner, thus, save more electricity.
Don’t Cook in the Kitchen
Rather than heating up the stove or oven, perhaps a salad would do. If you have a grill, consider using it more during the summer since, a) you won’t be inside using electricity and b) you won’t be heating up your kitchen.
If you must prepare meals in the kitchen, consider using appliances that don’t give off too much heat such as the microwave.
Use Natural (Free) Air Conditioning
If the nightly weather is dry (and not humid), consider opening the windows and balcony doors and turn off the air conditioner. If you live in a humid area, this option may not be a comfortable one. But on nights where the atmospheric conditions are dry and the temperatures are in the 70s, open those windows.
Unplug, Unplug, Unplug!
Remember that the goal during the summer is to save electricity where possible. Consider unplugging devices and appliances that are not in use. Did you know that even though some plugged-in devices may be ‘off’, they are still drawing power? By getting into the habit of unplugging those devices, those savings can add up over the summer months.
Here’s a tip: consider investing in a few power strips which will make it easy to turn off groups of devices at once.
Flip Those Light Switches
There is absolutely no reason to leave lights on in an empty room, ever. This goes double during the summer because the goal is to keep your bill as low as possible. Get in the habit of turning off the lights when you leave the room.
Change Your Laundry Habits
During the summer, consider using cold water to wash your clothes. This is actually a good idea to do from now on. By using cold water, you aren’t using your hot water heater to fill the washing machine with hot water.
Instead of using your dryer, consider air drying if possible. If you don’t have a clothes line, consider constructing one. Not using the dryer can significantly lower your electric bill if you do a ton of laundry.
Shorten Those Hot Showers
Taking hot showers means that you are using your hot water heater to heat the water. If you’re used to taking 10 minute showers, consider shortening them during the summer months or perhaps even try a cold shower every now and then.
These tips should help you lower your electric bill this summer whether you live in New York, New Jersey or anywhere else in the U.S.. The goal is to use due diligence, be proactive and use some common sense.