How 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!
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