6 Simple Ways to Lower Your Utility Bill During the Summer
Most people want to lower their air conditioning bills during the summer months. When temperatures soar, often your utility bills soar as well. However, there are some tips on ways to use less electricity and receive a lower bill during the warmest time of the year.
1. Replace Your Air Conditioning
Buy getting rid of appliances that are ten years old or older, you can replace it with one the is Energy Star approved and can conserve energy and thus save you money on cooling. Newer Energy Star air conditioning comes with added insulation, to stop leakage of cool air to the hot outdoors.
2. Paint Your Roof White
According to Bankrate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group found that white roofs in sunny climates requires 40% less energy than homes with black roofs.
3. Sweep Your Home Nightly
Not with a broom, but with an energy sweep, making sure that electrical devices are turned off before bedtime. Be sure that all lights are off and appliances (but not the refrigerator) are unplugged.
Your computer should have settings that will put it to sleep; put it to sleep when you are not on it by using the setting slider. The EPA has recommended setting computers to enter the sleep mode or hibernate after 15 to 60 minutes of being inactive. You can set it lower to save more during the summer when you are outdoors more.
Additionally, a smart thermostat that is Energy Star certified can give you energy savings; set the temperature lower when you sleep or are away from your home to automatically adjust.
4. Change the Filter
Changing the filter on HVAC systems makes them more efficient. Dirt can cause the system to die; using a permanent filter that you can hose off will keep the system clean and cut your utility bills. You should also schedule a summer tune up to your air conditioning system.
The air filter should be changed every three months.
If insulation materials are offered with your air conditioning system, use them to minimize air leaks. Leaking cool air can cost you money in the long run. Sealing any cracks with insulation anywhere in the home can make it cooler and lower your utility bills.
5. Use Fans
According to Energy Star, ceiling fans that are certified move more of the air with less power used. The airflow creates the feeling of a cool breeze. On hot days, raising your thermostat by only two degrees while also using a fan on the ceiling, can cut air conditioning costs by 14%.
6. Seal Air Leaks and Use Shutters and Shades
Keeping out the warm air, while keeping in the cool, will save you money during the summer months. Find any air leaks around your home. Seal them with a caulk, spray foam or use weather stripping. Sealing up your home can save you up to $200 annually in your utility bills.
Also seal the cooling system ducts that may be in your attic. This can save you up to 10% on your annual bill.
Shutters and shades keep the heat out. That is why they are used extensively in tropical climates. They will also help with keeping the cool air in. Indoor shutters can give the room a decorator look, while saving you money.
According to the government Energy Star program, you should “rule your attic” for comfort as well as savings. The idea is that the correct insulation will make your heating and cooling more efficient.
These are some simple ways that utility costs can be lowered in the summer. Replacing your air conditioner may be costly up front, but monthly savings will soon be realized as you use less energy.