The summer months can cause your electricity bill to climb, especially if you live somewhere very warm. The good news is, no matter where you live, you can benefit from some easy but effective ways to save money this summer, potentially leaving more to spend on fun things rather than utility bills
1. Adjust Your Thermostat
Get into a habit where you set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re at home, and then turn it completely off when you’re away. That’ll ensure the air conditioner only comes on when you really need it.
2. Use a Line to Dry Your Clothes
Summer usually means bright, warm days, and those are great conditions for drying your laundry outside on a line instead of tossing items into the dryer. When you must use the dryer, wait until you have full loads, and use a moisture-sensing setting if your appliance has one.
3. Spruce Up Your Pool
If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool, it’s a great way to cool off in a way that’s quick and worthwhile, but doesn’t involve running your air conditioning at full blast. Using a pool filter is necessary to keep the water in good condition, but switch the setting so it only operates four to five hours a day at peak times.
4. Replace Air Conditioner Filters Every Month
Hot weather makes your air conditioning system work harder. When the internal filters are dirty, it can cause the unit to run longer before the room reaches the desired temperature. Be proactive by changing the filters monthly. That’s an easy way to save money, because filters are readily available and inexpensive. Clean ones can mean your air conditioner does its job more efficiently.
5. Turn Off Lights When You Go Outside
Summer weather provides an excellent reason for people to spend more time than usual outside. Whether they’re hanging out near the grill while entertaining guests or playing with the dog in the yard, pleasant temperatures and more daylight can encourage individuals to only stay inside when itís absolutely necessary.
If that sounds like something to which you can relate, feel free to enjoy the outdoors, but not before switching off inside lights you don’t need. It sounds like a small step, but it can make a difference over time, especially when done consistently.
6. Get New Lightbulbs
Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light and use up 90% of the energy as heat ñ thay’s a lot of wasted energy. There are three different types of energy-efficient lighting that you should consider: halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs. Generally, you’ll be able to find these in any hardware and home improvement stores
7. Consider Using Solar Lights
The longer days summer offers give you great opportunities to experiment with solar lighting. Some choices are powered by both sunlight and batteries, so they are very easy to use as well as energy saving. Try putting them around a pathway or near your deck so you can enjoy them during summer evenings.
8. Cover Your Dark Roof With White Coating
A study about roof colors found compared with black roofs, white ones do a better job at cooling the building, and they’re also better able to offset global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. If your current roof isn’t white, don’t worry. White elastomeric coating does the job. After finding it at a hardware store, applying it is as simple as using paint rollers.
9. Turn Off Unnecessary Appliances and Electronic Devices Before Going to Bed
Appliances and electronics that are needlessly left on while you slumber can cause you to have a higher energy bill, but it’s easy to mend your ways by being more responsible about how you use energy. Every night before you crawl under the covers, go into each room of your home and unplug any devices you won’t need until morning. It just takes a few minutes, but could reduce how much you pay for electricity per month.
Saving energy this summer isn’t difficult, and the tips above should help you get off to a good start. Whether you have a bit of money you want to invest into your home to save energy or just want to take some simple measures that don’t cost a thing, let the list you’ve just read serve as inspiration for taking action.
Anum Yoon is a personal finance blogger who manages Current On Currency. She’s also a huge advocate for the eco-friendly lifestyle, and often writes about the different ways people can contribute to the sustainability movement. Follow her on Twitter @anumyoon to read her updates.