The average summer electric bill in the US will vary depending on the state you live in, but it generally ranges from $75 to $150 a month. These rates are generally higher in the summer as kids are home all day and the AC is blasting to keep the house at a bearable temperature.
Air conditioning is a huge reason for higher summer electricity bills, but there are plenty of other things using electricity in your home. If your budget won’t allow for these increased costs, you should know how to lower your electric bill in the summer and learn how to balance the electricity usage in your home to still meet your needs.
A Summer at Home
With COVID-19 keeping everyone indoors, you’ll certainly see a spike in your energy bill. This is especially true if you’ve started working from home; all of that time you spend at work with your computer in a well-lit workplace is now getting carved out of your bank account.
But don’t worry. Chances are you’re actually saving money while you’re at home. You’re not paying for gas, are eating in more often, and genuinely don’t have to spend as much money on laundry and dry cleaning since you don’t need to dress up for your superiors.
With that in mind, here are 10 ways to save money on your electric bill in the summer.
1. Turn Off Your AC
Air conditioning is a must for many homes. Especially if you live in warm climates like Utah, you need AC to escape the heat. But constant record highs can really do a number to your summer electricity bill. Turn off your AC when you’re not using it, like when you’re leaving the house or when you’re asleep.
In general, you shouldn’t set your thermostat too much lower than the temperature outside. Yes, a crisp 65 degrees in your home is a dream, but that will take way too much energy and money to reach if your summer gets to the high 90s. A good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer, keeping you cool and avoiding a high summer electric bill.
2. Get a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re looking for total energy efficiency, a programmable thermostat can be an incredible improvement for your quality of life and your electricity bill. These thermostats allow you to schedule what temperature you want your house throughout the day. That means no more coming home to an oven for a home. Now you can go to sleep with the AC on and schedule when it should turn off so you’re not wasting cold air throughout the entire night.
3. Use Natural Ventilation
Some homes can make it through the summer without having an AC unit at all, which is a huge game-changer for your wallet. Depending on your area’s usual climate, you can take advantage of the cooler nights. Open your windows and let the cool breeze rush in. Then be sure to close the windows in the morning before the outside temperature gets too high.
4. Turn On Fans
Fans can augment your cooling efforts whether you have air conditioning or not. They help to distribute the cold air around your home so your AC doesn’t have to work as hard. If you have your windows open at night, you can place a fan in front to suck in even more cold air through the night.
5. Check Your Insulation
If you feel like your home can’t hold in any of the cold, don’t crank the AC. Chances are it’s an insulation problem that’s leaking out precious cold air. Check for any cracks around your doors and window frames and fill them with caulk. Weather-stripping can also be useful for sealing windows and doors.
6. Block the Sun
Getting some sunshine through the windows in the morning is great for waking up easily, but too much sun during the day can make your home unbearable. Draw curtains and black-out shades during the hottest times of the day, especially on any of your south-facing windows.
7. Wash with Cold Water
Washing your clothes with hot water adds to your water and electric bill, since heating water takes energy. Your clothes still need to be washed, but using cold water can drastically cut back your electricity usage.
8. Dry Your Clothes Outside
Driers take a lot of energy to run, so line-drying your clothes can cut that cost entirely. As long as it’s not rainy, you can use the heat of the summer to your advantage and dry your clothes outside.
9. Wash Dishes by Hand
Dishwashers use a lot of water and electricity when washing and drying your dishes. You can cut your electricity bill when you wash dishes by hand, which also saves water in the process. Leave your dishes out to air dry or just rub them down with a towel and put them away.
10. Fill the Fridge
It may seem counterintuitive to get more food when money’s tight, but less vacant airspace means your fridge won’t have to work as hard to cool down to the desired temperature (which should be between 35 and 38 degrees). So stock up on perishable items this summer and fill those shelves. You can also use water jugs and bottles to occupy the extra space.
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