Watching your local weather forecast this time of year is like listening to a broken record — it’s the same thing over and over again. How many times have you heard these forecasts repeated this summer? Highs in the mid-90s. Highs in the upper-90s. Highs over 100.
These excess temperatures lead to even higher numbers in other places — mainly your electric bill. In fact, for most households, their electric bills double or even triple during the summer. After all, we do need to stay comfortable indoors so our air conditioners tend to run 24/7 at 72 degrees. Many have resigned themselves to the fact that they will just have to bite the bullet during the summer and pay those exorbitant bills.
But do you really want to pay more than you have to? Most households are simply throwing money away during the summer. While it is an unfortunate fact that your electric bill will always be high during the summer, it doesn’t have to as high as it currently is.
Here are some good tips to lower your electric bill during the summer — and these four tips can be used the rest of the year as well.
Turn off the air conditioner when not in use
There are a couple of instances where you can completely shut off your a/c unit. One instance is overnight while you are sleeping. Perhaps experiment one night to see if you can sleep comfortably without the unit working. The other instance is when you’re leaving the house. There’s no bigger waste of money than cooling an entire house when nobody is home.
Turn on your ceiling fans
What’s the purpose of having ceiling fans if you don’t use them? The fact of the matter is, ceiling fans work very well with air conditioners. A ceiling fan can cool a room by as much as 4 degrees. This would allow you to raise the temperature on your thermostat, thus saving you money.
The sun is not your friend
During the brightest and warmest times of the day, you should block the sun using blackout curtains or blinds. If you don’t understand the concept of blackout curtains, consider your most recent hotel stay. In hotel rooms, when you close the curtains and turn off the lights, the room goes completely dark — even in the middle of the day! Those are blackout curtains. They prevent excess heat from entering your home which allows you to keep your thermostat at a higher setting.
Keep your filter clean
When was the last time you cleaned or replaced your air filter? Dirty or clogged filters do a very impressive job of blocking air flow which is something you don’t want when trying to stay cool during the summer. And when the air flow isn’t good your natural instinct is to lower the thermostat. And for every degree you lower it, your electric bill increases 4 to 8 percent.
So doesn’t it make sense to spend a few bucks on a clean filter rather than a lot more on your bill? Or at the very least, rinse off the filter once a month when the a/c unit will be off for a period of time.
The tips given above can help you save a little money off your electric bill during the summer. And they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s all about developing good habits that can be practiced year-around.
Stay cool… literally!