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How to Save Money On Your Electric Bill This Summer

By Chris Bibey

save on your Electric Bill this summerHow much money do you generally spend on electricity during the fall and spring months? Does this number seem to grow every summer when the weather turns warm? That’s because you’re not making a conscious effort to reduce the amount of energy you’re using, and the air conditioner is the main culprit of the spike in energy costs. This is a problem that many people face, especially those who are on a tight budget. Although your electric bill may tend to increase during the summer, there are some things you can do to keep the costs to a minimum:

Here are several ways to save on your electric bill this summer:

1. Don’t set your air conditioner any lower than 78 degrees. While this may sound entirely too hot for the summer months, you may be surprised to find that it is just low enough to keep you cool. Many opt for a temperature of 72 degrees, or even lower in some cases. It is your choice, but the lower you go, the more you are going to pay on your electric bill. Getting a programmable thermostat can also help you set the temperature higher when you’re gone during the day at work and cooler when you’re home at night.

2. Change the AC filter. Did you know that a dirty air conditioner filter can restrict air flow? In turn, your unit has to work harder in order to pump cool air through your home. The end result is an inefficient system that costs you a lot of money. Many filters need to be swapped out once per month. Check your unit to see what is recommended.

3. Keep some of your windows covered. Which windows in your home get the most sun? After you answer this question, make sure you buy blinds or curtains to cover them. By doing this, you will be able to reflect some of the heat before it gets into your home.

4. Buy a whole house fan. This may not be possible in some parts of the country as these fans only function well in specific climates, but in many areas it is a great idea that not many people utilize. The idea is simple: whole house fan is basically an exhaust fan designed to suck your house’s hot air out through the attic. Then, instead of putting the air on, you can leave windows open to cool the home and get a breeze.

5. Plant trees. This may not benefit you for a couple of years, but soon enough it will help you save money. A tree that casts shade onto your AC unit will help it run more efficiently. Along with this, trees that shade the sun from your home (windows in particular) will keep the heat on the outside.

6. Forget about the AC and go to the basement. If you have a basement in your home, it is safe to say that it is much cooler in the summer than the upper floors. By spending most of your time below ground, you will be able to turn your air conditioner off or at the very least set it higher than usual.

Now is the time of the year when the weather is really going to heat up. Unless you want to pay a large electric bill, follow the six tips above. They will help cut your cost during the summer months and save more money that can be used for house projects and vacation!

(photo credit: [email protected])

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

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  • http://www.moneyobedience.com/site/home/index.php ctreit

    I am with you on all points except for the basement. I live in an old house and the basement floor is one step up from a dirt floor. So, can I please stay upstairs? Besides, I think you can save a bit by keeping the thermostat higher during the summer when you wear lighter clothes anyway. We have a tendency to cool things off too much in the summer and to heat them too much in the winter, which makes no sense to me at all.

  • http://www.moneyfunk.net Christine | Money Funk

    If you can put a fan in the attic to suck the hot air out, it really works. And it’s great for those frugalites looking to save money on the utility bills by not using the AC this summer.

  • http://frugalfrontporch.blogspot.com Jenn@FFP

    You should also check with your energy provider to see if they have an Energy Conservation Program in place. My electric company offers a monthly $7 rebate during the summer months in exchange for installing a wireless antenna (at their cost) to cycle our AC unit in 15 minute cycles. The downtime isn’t enough that we really notice it and every little bit of savings helps!

  • http://www.waystosavemoney.tv Money Saver

    The whole house fan is great. I don’t have AC so it gets really hot during the day. But when I come home at night, I turn on the fan and it sucks the hot air out, dropping about 10 degrees in about 10 minutes.

  • Amanda

    I’ve also heard that going outside more often gets you more acclimated to change in weather, and therefore you don’t need the AC in the summer or Heat in the winter as much…

  • Budmurray

    My friends house is absolutly full of clutter. she never throws anything away. you truly have to walk threw paths in every room. How can I convince her that all this clutter in her home is adding a large cost to her AC bill. She has to heat and cool all that stuff instead of air.

  • Sjlfirst

    The easiest way to make your home more energy efficient is to seal any air leaks, and one that is often overlooked is the bathroom ventilation fan and exhaust vent. The back-draft flap these units come with do a very poor job of stopping leaks. To address this issue, I use a replacement insert fan from the Larson Fan Company (online). Their fans has a true damper built in, that does a great job in keeping warm air in during the winter and hot, humid air out in the summer. This product has reduced my annual energy bills by over ten percent. It saves the most when air conditioning is being used.

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