However, with summer right around the corner, that will soon change. Here are seven tips to help you save on energy and lower your electricity costs this summer.
1. Enjoy lots of cookouts.
To cut your summertime electricity charges you need to do everything you can to keep your air conditioner from cycling on. Preparing meals on your kitchen stove raises the temperature inside your home. Make use of an outside grill as often as possible and become an expert with your toaster oven. If you absolutely must bake cookies, why not avoid using your oven and bake them inside your car?
2. Be sportin’ cool shades.
Shade trees are popular for good reason. Take the same principle and apply it to your home. Keep blinds closed in windows that allow direct sunlight to stream into your house. And, if you’re really serious about how to save energy in the long run, survey your home. Do you have any south-facing walls that are bathed in sunshine all day long? A retractable awning might be a good idea.
3. Find your biggest fan.
All winter long the TV weather guys report the “wind chill factor.” Take advantage of this phenomenon in the summer. When they are blowing down onto you, ceiling fans create a wind chill factor that allows you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature yet feel just as comfortable.
4. Who’s hiding in the attic?
If you don’t already have an attic fan, get one. These cycle on when the attic temperature gets higher than the outside ambient temperature. They can really help lower your electricity costs, especially if your home isn’t insulated very well.
5. Readjust your personal thermostat.
When Jimmy Carter was president, there was a big push for families to set their home thermostats to a lower temperature in the winter and compensate by wearing sweaters. Over the years, most of us have adjusted to a lower home temperature in the cold weather months. Do the same in the summer. Set your thermostat a couple of degrees higher. You’ll get used to it.
6. Change your filters.
Keep your air conditioner fitted with clean filters. Dirty filters make your unit work harder. Not only will this cause your electricity charges to go up, it will stress your air conditioner and lead to more repair bills. In the same way, always clean the air filter in your dryer. A dirty filter reduces the warm airflow through your dryer. This increases the amount of time your dryer has to run to do its job. It’s also harder on your dryer.
7. Hang ‘em out to dry.
A few generations ago people weren’t asking themselves the question, “How can we save energy?” because they had far fewer appliances that required electricity and electricity was relatively cheap. Outdoor clothes lines were a part of every home. Get a retractable clothes line and take advantage of solar power.
Finally, check your local utility, they often have programs that will help pay for energy saving improvements. My utility, Nashville Electric Service, has a whole webpage devoted to these deals.
Incorporate these tips into your summer lifestyle and you’ll find that the power savings will add up to a lower energy bill. Further, finding ways to save energy is great for the environment and even our national security.