With the warmer weather here, turning up the AC may be necessary – but it can be costly. Here are a few ways that you can save on your utility bills this summer.
Control Your Temperature
Just a few degrees on the thermostat can make a huge difference on your energy bills. Almost half the amount on your utility bill comes from heating and cooling your home.
According to the US Department of Energy, you can chop off a whopping 10% just by installing a programmable thermostat.
In addition to installing a programmable thermostat, consider raising the temperature a couple of degrees to save on additional cooling costs.
The USDE also suggests you turn down the temperature on your hot water heater. Lowering it from 140 degrees to 120 degrees will save at least $2 a month. Your water heater uses 18% of the energy in your home.
Seal Your Home
Drafts in your home allow heat to escape in the winter and hot air to enter in the summer. Sealing your home is an inexpensive and simple thing to do that can save you money on your utility bills.
Weather stripping around doors and sweeps on the bottom of doors stop drafts. Insulating around outlets and switches plugs up costly air leaks. Both of these projects cost little and they’re simple to do.
If you live in an older home, you may have inefficient windows that allow the cool air to escape. You can buy window insulation kits and insulating curtains to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.
Do you have access to your attic? If so, ensure that it is properly insulated.
Use Water & Energy-Saving Devices
Using water saving devices is an inexpensive and simple way to save on your monthly utility bills. A low-flow showerhead is easy to install and will save you money by reducing the amount of water you use during your shower. Older shower heads can use up to 5 gallons of water per minute, while a low-flow only uses 1.5 gallons.
You can also install aerators on your bathroom and kitchen taps. They’re very inexpensive, simple to install, and they significantly reduce water consumption. Don’t forget about your toilets either. A bottle filled with water in the tank means less water to fill it when you flush.
The appliances you buy have an impact on energy consumption, too. Cooking and refrigeration account for almost 10% of your energy bill, and some appliances are huge energy users.
Your refrigerator/freezer and electric stove use the most energy, after heating and cooling your home and drying your clothes. Leaving a dehumidifier running constantly can also suck up energy quickly. Buying energy efficient appliances has a dramatic impact on your monthly bill.
Cold Water Wash & Air Dry
Detergents and machines are very efficient today, so you don’t always need to wash your laundry in hot water. Washing in cold water protects fibers and prevents stains from setting, too.
Almost all the energy your washer uses is to heat the water. According to TreeHugger, when you always wash your clothes on the hot/warm cycle you burn the equivalent of 182 gallons of gasoline. When you wash on cold, you only burn the equivalent of 8 gallons.
Your dryer uses plenty of energy, too. Whenever possible, line or flat dry your clothes. You’ll also want to clean the lint trap on your dryer each time you use it, because it works more efficiently without obstructions. Don’t forget to give your dryer hose and vent a periodic cleaning as well. Buy an energy-efficient vent that allows hot air to escape, but does not allow the outside air to enter your home.
These 4 simple tips can lower your energy bills significantly. Of course, switching off lights, turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, and keeping the refrigerator door closed as much as possible will too. Common sense and small measures can save you plenty on utility bills.