5 Easy Ways to Cut Electricity Usage in Summer
Whereas your gas bill probably shoots sky high in the winter when your furnace roars to life and starts pumping out the heat, the warm months of summer likely see a spike in your electricity bill when the ceiling fans just won’t cut it and you’re forced to crank up the air conditioning. The longer days may help you to cut back on the use of electric lighting in the home, but it’s not enough to combat your AC usage. However, there are plenty of little ways to diminish your reliance on air conditioning, and they can add up to major savings on your monthly utility bill. Here are just a few you’ll probably want to try if the cost of your AC is eating you out of house and home.
- Beef up weather stripping. In most cases, your window and door frames are going to be constructed from wood, as is the majority of your home. And when the temperature and barometric pressure change, the wood in your home can shrink and swell, creating leaks in your structure. It might not seem like a very big deal, but when you dial down the thermostat with the thought of keeping your house cool, you should know that you’re also paying to cool the outside. And further, warm exterior air is getting in. All of this equates to a lot more work for your AC unit and a much higher bill for you. If you’re not sure where leaks may be occurring, call up your power provider to schedule a home energy audit. A professional can point out leaks around windows, doors, vents, and other areas (not to mention test your insulation) and let you know where to get sealing.
- Close up shop. Once you’ve got your house sealed tight as a drum, you’ll want to make sure it stays that way. Keeping windows and doors closed throughout the summer may not seem like much fun, but it could definitely help to preserve your desired interior temperature. You might also want to close drapery during the day to keep out the sun.
- Consider energy film. If you’re the type that likes a view, especially during the summer when everything is bright and beautiful, go ahead and fling open those shutters. When you apply energy film to your windows you could cut up to a whopping 90% of the solar rays that heat your home (and fade your furniture). This means you can have your view and enjoy it, too, even as you keep your house nice and cool.
- Upgrade to an efficient unit. If you’ve discovered that you’re paying a lot more than your friends and neighbors for AC, all things being equal, perhaps it’s time to do away with your outdated unit and upgrade to one that is energy-efficient. Many not only use less energy for the same job, but they also have levels of energy use so that you can step up the power as needed, potentially saving even more.
- Install a programmable thermostat. If you can’t quite afford a brand new AC unit this year, at least spring for a smart programmable home thermostat that allows you to gain better control of your energy usage. Not only is it more accurate than a dial right off the bat, but when you set a schedule for use that revolves around your daily presence in the home, you’ll stop wasting unneeded energy and reduce your utility bill in the process.