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Four Tips For Saving Money On Your Energy Bill this Summer

By Erik Folgate

It’s getting hotter and hotter as the days go by. I live in Florida, so it starts getting hot in March. My air conditioner decided to crap out on me yesterday, so I’m sitting here at my desk sweating to death! It made me think about the different ways that you and I can save money on your energy bills this summer without doing much work.

Here are some tips that I thought would be helpful to you:

  1. Pay the $50 to $75 to have your air conditioner cleaned and inspected. You’ll pay a small fee, but this could lead to your air conditioner running more efficiently during the summer. Dirty condensor coils can cause your A/C to blow out less cool air, and it will cause your A/C to work harder to cool your home.
  2. Program your thermostat to set the temperature higher when you are not home. If everyone leaves during the day, program your thermostat to raise the temperature from 9am – 4pm. Who needs the house to be really cool when no one is there? I don’t recommend completely shutting it off, because then your A/C will work harder to cool your house off when you come home. If you have an old-fashioned thermostat, look into buying and installing a new one. You can get a nice one at Home Depot or Lowe’s for $30 – $50.
  3. Maximize the extended sunlight during the summer months. Don’t turn on lights until it gets dark around 8pm (depending on where you live in the world). Light conservation won’t reduce your bill dramatically, but you will notice the effects in your bill if you are conscientious about it. My wife always blasts me for not turning off a light when I leave the bedroom. I’m a guy, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.
  4. If you leave for vacation, unplug all of your major appliances and electronics. Even if the appliance isn’t turned on, it still uses energy while being plugged into the wall. I’m not a freak, so I’m not going to preach to you to unplug your computer or TV every time you aren’t using it. But if you are going away for a week, two weeks, or more, definitely consider unplugging everything. It will also help prevent from power surge damage if your home is struck by lightning.
  5. I know there are plenty of other ways to save on your energy bill. Do you have any other tips to share that you practice for saving money on utilities? Post a comment with your tip!

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Ellen S.

    The concept of “saving money” is easier said than done for most people. I understand that it is ‘easy and logical’ for some people, but I also understand it can be a difficult habit to break for others.

    If you’re looking to save money or change your lifestyle, my advice is to take it in “baby-steps” because it won’t happen overnight. Here are some tips that helped me out.

    1. Always pay more than the minimum on any credit card payments – if you don’t believe me you can calculate it for yourself (http://www.csgnetwork.com/creditcardmincalc.html)
    2. Use coupons when grocery shopping
    3. Try online shopping – it’s saves on gas & they have bigger markdowns (http://www.shoptivity.com)
    4. Read a book – it’s cheaper than going to a movie (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/)
    5. Know your budget! (https://www.dl.ed.gov/borrower/BudgetCalculator.do)

    Good luck and happy savings!

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