10 Tips for Keeping Your Energy Bill Down This Summer

woven chair on an open porch during the summer

As the weather continues to heat up, our air conditioners tend to go into overdrive just to keep our homes at a comfortable temperature. Unfortunately, that means we’re usually hit with large electric bills during the summer months. Keep reading to learn a few tips for lowering your energy bill this year.

1. Use a programmable thermostat

When you’re hot, you probably won’t hesitate to run to your thermostat to lower the temperature. But it’s way too easy to forget to bump it back up before you leave the house or if the outdoor temperature drops.

With a programmable thermostat, you can change the temperature based on when you’ll be home. Raising the temperature when you’re out of the house can lead to significant energy savings.

2. Get a check-up on your A/C

Have an HVAC company come out to your home to take a look at your air conditioner. They can make sure your A/C isn’t clogged and is in good working order so it doesn’t run too often. They can also clean your A/C because a clean air conditioner is an efficient one.

3. Replace your air filters

Clogged and dirty air filters block airflow and make your A/C unit less efficient, so don’t forget to check your filters and change them if necessary. 

When my parents were building their current home, their builder recommended using extremely cheap air filters and replacing them once a month. We started following that advice, and it has made a huge difference in the airflow throughout our house.

4. Turn on the fan when you enter a room

I’ve seen way too many designers on HGTV remove fans from bedrooms and living rooms. Since I live in a hot and humid part of the United States, I’m always surprised and a little annoyed, especially since running your fan uses a fraction of the electricity as your A/C unit.

Fans don’t actually cool down a room, but they circulate the air to make the room feel cooler. That means you don’t have to lower your thermostat quite so lower to still feel comfortable within your home. 

Just don’t forget to turn off the fan when you leave the room!

5. Close doors & vents

If you aren’t using a room, close the A/C vents in the room and the door leading into the room. Doing this will help your A/C run more efficiently because it’s not trying to cool a room that no one is using.

6. Wash your clothes in cold water

You can save a lot of money by using cold water in your washing machine because you’re not heating up the water. Personally, I only use hot water for towels and sheets throughout the year.

Hint: You can also save money by taking cooler showers every now and then, too.

Read also: Saving Money: 9 Tips to Save More This Year

7. Switch to Energy Star lightbulbs

Energy Star LED lightbulbs use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Not only will you save a few bucks a year on your electric bill, but LEDs tend to last a lot longer so you won’t have to replace them as often.

8. Ask about a prepaid electric plan

Many electric companies offer a prepaid option. They’ll look at how much energy you consume each year to find out the average you use each month. They’ll charge you based on that average usage. This won’t actually lower your energy bill, but it will make it a little more predictable.

9. Turn off lights when you leave a room

I have a confession: I’m terrible at turning off lights when I leave a room. But, your lightbulbs not only use electricity, but they can also heat up the room a tiny amount. 

So do you know what’s even better than turning off the lights when you exit? Don’t turn them on in the first place. There’s plenty of natural light in the summer, so take advantage of that.

10. Close your window treatments

Window treatments, like blinds or curtains, can help you save money on your electric bill by making your home more energy-efficient. When you close your blinds, you can prevent direct sunlight from heating up your home.

woven chair on an open porch during the summer