It’s getting hotter out there! And this means that your electric bill might increase if you are using air conditioning or fans. So what are some easy ways to lower your electric bill during the hot summer months without getting too hot?!
I’ve prepared for you a list of 9 easy ways to lower your electric bill this summer.
1. The Easy One: Adjust Your Thermostat
Most people know that you can save money on your electricity bill if you set your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer. The Air Conditioning magazine “ACHR News” estimate that “you could save about 10 to 15 percent per degree, for the first few degrees you set up from 75 degrees” (Source).
Try to keep your house one or two degrees warmer than you did last year. Your body will adjust to the warmer temperature and you will save some money.
If you are gone for most of the day, adjust your thermostat so that you aren’t keeping your house cool while no one is home (Unless you have a pet at home that needs to stay cool).
2. Stop Wearing Pants and Long-Sleeve Tops
Ok, this sounds obvious, but dressing appropriately for the weather is a biggie. A lot of people still use sweatpants or even a hoodie inside the house when running air conditioning.
A friend of mine recently told me that “My kids constantly complain and I always tell them that they can easily change their clothes”. If someone in your family mentions that they are too warm, make sure that they are wearing summer clothing before you lowering the thermostat’s temperature!
We try to keep our house comfortable, not super-cold. Keeping your house so cold that you still dress up with spring-type clothing means your electric bill is going to be really high. You’ll actually feel cooler if you wear shorts and a tank top and run the A/C just enough to be comfortable around 75-79 degrees.
3. Close Your Curtains When The Sun Hits Your Windows
In the summer, we use new curtains to keep the heat out. Throughout the day, I close the curtains where the sun is shining in directly to help keep the heat out. Of course, we don’t want to live in complete darkness, so I make sure to open the curtain where the sun isn’t coming in directly to keep our house bright (so I don’t have to turn on the lights!).
I made sure to buy extra thick thermal black-out curtains (Amazon link) and shades and they make a massive difference!
4. Avoid Using Your Oven
Turning on the oven easily makes our house at least 5 degrees warmer. That means we have to run the air conditioning more to cool things down.
Our bedroom is right above the kitchen and I can feel our bedroom heating up if I’ve used the oven to make dinner. I hardly use our oven at all throughout the whole summer.
Click here for summer meal ideas that you can prepare without your oven.
5. Use Fans. They Are Inexpensive and Effective.
Whenever I use fans, I’m always surprised at how much they help! There is just something about having a little breeze that just helps you stay cool. Sometimes you don’t need colder air, you just need air that is moving.
Fans cost a lot less to run than A/C. We use fans in our bedroom (See picture below) and in our living room.
Just be sure that you only use fans in rooms that you use all the time. Letting a fan run the whole day in a room you barely use will do nothing help lower your electric bill this summer!
6. Close Up Unused Rooms / Closets.
This is a simple tip that works wonders to help lower your electric bill in the summer. Don’t pay for electricity to help cool spaces that you do not use. Close your closets or rooms that you don’t use that much. Focus your energy on cooling space that you use all the time.
We perhaps even take it a step too far: our entire upstairs area, including our bedroom, is closed to help lower our electricity bill during the summer months. We stopped using our upstairs window air conditionings to only use our main air conditioner on our main floor. When it got really hot and we really wanted to save money, we even brought our bed downstairs and used the dining room as our bedroom for a couple of summer weeks!
7. Cool Off
When you’re super warm, do something to cool off instead of cranking the A/C.
Go for a swim or take a cold shower. Lowering your body temperature quickly will make your home more comfortable for you and keep you from running the air conditioning more than necessary.
8. Update Old Lightbulbs
When we bought our house, every single light fixture had old incandescent lightbulbs, which get quite hot. We’ve been gradually replacing these lightbulbs with LEDs, starting with the lights we have on most often.
Not only is this helping our electric bill because LED bulbs are so much more efficient, it’s also helping us keep our house cooler. I can actually feel the rooms with the old light bulbs get hotter!
9. Plant Some Shade
This is a long-term investment. If you own your home, think about planting trees on the side of your house that gets the most sun.
As the trees grow, you’ll get a lot of shade over your house which will help to keep it cool. You can feel burning hot in the sun, but 10 degrees cooler in the shade. Image how much that would help cool your house and shrink your utility bills.
I hope these tips help you lower your electric bill this summer!
How do you save money on summer utilities? What do you do to stay cool?