How Can I Reduce My Electric Bill This Summer?
Written By: Warm Thoughts Communications on August 5, 2021
When temperatures rise in the summer, so does your electric bill—mostly because about half of that bill comes from cooling your house or apartment.
For most people, A/C is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. That’s especially true with the record-setting temperatures we’ve been seeing pretty much everywhere in our country the last few years (the Northeast has been spared some of the brutal weather that the West Coast has endured so far this year—but according to experts, that weather will soon be heading our way).
Regardless of how hot it gets; you shouldn’t have to choose between sweating and taking out a loan to pay your home cooling bill. Here are four ways to reduce your electricity bills at the peak of summer.
4 Ways to Shrink Your Electric Bill
1. Take note of your current electricity use. Spend a few days observing your own electric efficiency behaviors. Do you wash clothes during the day, when you’ll pay higher peak power rates? Do you leave lights on when you leave each room, or keep the air conditioner running when no one is home? Awareness and small day-to-day changes can make a big difference in how much electricity you’ll use this summer.
2. Lighten the load on your A/C. The most obvious way to reduce your electric bill is to run your A/C less often. But you can also cut your bill by lightening the load on your cooling system in other ways. Here are some suggestions to do exactly that:
- Replace your HVAC filter regularly: Check your A/C filter at least once every six to eight weeks, especially if you have shedding pets. A clogged air filter can reduce A/C efficiency by 10% to 15%.
- Keep vents clear: Remove anything—furniture, rugs, drapes—that blocks steady airflow from your vents.
- Avoid using heat-producing appliances: Grill outdoors rather than overusing your oven and cooktop. And hang clothes rather than using your dryer.
- Treat your windows: About 75% of the energy that enters your home as sunlight will stick around as heat. Use curtains, drapes or reflective film to keep the light and heat out.
- Program your thermostat: With a central air conditioner, every degree you drop your thermostat below 75°F results in a 3% to 5% uptick in energy use. Try to keep temps around 78°F inside and use your programmer to manage A/C use when people are sleeping or away from home.
- Fix air leaks: Use caulk and weather stripping to reduce leaks around exterior doors and windows and use door sweeps to stop drafts between conditioned and unconditioned spaces like your garage and hallway.
- Supplement your A/C with ceiling fans: Moving air feels cooler when you’re in the room, so turn on those ceiling fans when people are around—you’ll be able to keep temperatures a little warmer with no loss in comfort.
- Service your equipment: Your cooling equipment will lose about 5% efficiency every year that it’s not serviced—which means that a tune-up will basically pay for itself in lower cooling bills alone.
3. Don’t forget your other appliances! Your air conditioner isn’t the only device using electricity during the summer. Try these additional energy-saving tips:
- Install low-flow showerheads and aerators: These inexpensive devices could cut your hot water use in half—a big deal if you have an electric water heater.
- Drop the temperature on your electric water heater: Most water heaters are preset to a very high temperature—more than you’ll need for your appliances and taps. A thermostat temperature of 120°F is more than enough.
- Kill off the vampires: When an electronic device or appliance is plugged in, it draws electricity that you pay for—even when it is turned off! Read more about these “energy vampires”—and how to thwart them—here.
4. Fix your electric supply rates. Locking in a fixed rate on your electricity supply before the heat reaches its peak allows you to weather any spikes in market prices. Find out what options you have to fix your rate so it won’t jump, even if electricity prices go up.
Want to learn more about fixed-rate energy plans for your home? Give us a call at 877-259-7693 today! We’ll walk you through your options so you can make a choice you can live with—whether you’re looking for a provider of electricity, natural gas or both!