Soaring temperatures during the summer can cause electric bills to skyrocket. This summer, take a vacation from high electric bills by making your home — and your family’s habits — more energy efficient.
Beat the heat
Air conditioning helps most Americans beat the sweltering summer heat. Proper maintenance and smart use of your home’s cooling system will help keep your electric bill in check.
First, make sure your air conditioner’s external unit is clean and free of debris. Clear away dead leaves or overgrown plants and weeds to enable the unit to perform as it should.
Second, change all of the air filters inside your home quarterly, or more often in homes with allergy sufferers or smokers. Fresh filters not only reduce the strain on your cooling system, but improve the air quality in your home.
Third, set your home’s thermostat as high as possible, while still maintaining a comfortable environment for your family during the summer months.
Bumping the thermostat up at least two or three degrees can make a noticeable difference on your power bill. Investing in a programmable thermostat can lead to even greater savings by automatically adjusting it so that the cooling system runs more often when you are at home and less often when you are away.
Made in the shade
Windows are not only great sources of natural light, but also great sources of heat during the summer. Curtains, blinds, and shades are some of the most cost-effective ways to make your windows and home more energy efficient. These window coverings offer low-cost, stylish solutions to shield the sun’s rays and keep the interior of your home cool and comfortable.
Today’s appliances are more energy efficient than ever, performing better and using less electricity than in the past. But despite their functionality and efficiency, most major household appliances give off heat when in use.
During peak daytime temperatures, the residual heat from appliances can put an unnecessary strain on your home’s cooling system. Cooler temperatures in the early morning or late evening make these ideal times for running the dishwasher or washing and drying clothes. When possible, turn off your dishwasher’s dryer cycle. This prevents even more residual heat from warming your home and saves on your power bill. Washing your clothes in cold water and hanging them out to dry are also great strides in reducing your household energy consumption.
As your summer heats up, call on your friends at Clark County REMC for more ways to lower your power bill. You can also visit TogetherWeSave.com to find out how little changes around the house can add up to big energy savings. — U.S. Department of Energy, EnergySavers.gov, TogetherWeSave.com.