Household electric bills often spike in the summer because of increased air conditioning use. These energy saving strategies will help reduce expenses and may keep your house cooler, too!
- Adjust the thermostat. Turning up the thermostat by even a few degrees can make a big difference in your electric bill. In addition, clean your vents and change your air filter regularly.
- Clean window air conditioning units. Before installing your window unit each year, clean the filter and exterior and vacuum the interior coils. Check your user’s manual to verify that the unit is installed correctly.
- Use fans. A ceiling or stationary fan can substantially improve air circulation and decrease the need for air conditioning.
- Weatherstrip windows, doors, and ducts. Weatherstripping will reduce air leaks and make it easier for your air conditioner to maintain the desired temperature. Your electric bill could drop by as much as 10%.
- Check insulation. Inspect the insulation in your attic, basement, or crawl space to ensure it is maintaining energy efficiency. If your house is not well insulated, consider making improvements.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Compact fluorescent and LED bulbs have higher up-front costs, but they last longer and burn cheaper over time.
- Minimize oven and dryer use. Limit use of these appliances to early morning or evening hours. Plan meals that can be made with your stove top, toaster oven, or backyard grill, or make several meals’ worth of food at once that can be warmed up in the microwave later.
- Close curtains and lower blinds. Covering windows prevents the sun’s rays from entering a room. This will keep the house cooler and reduce light glare. Blackout curtains may be helpful in bedrooms, especially if they have east-facing windows.
- Unplug. Electronics draw electricity even when they are turned off. Unplug items you don’t use often or only need at certain times during the day.