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summer energy

Summer Energy

In this article I am going to share many of the best ways that you can save money on your summer energy bill. Find  amazing tips to reduce your summer energy consumption and save more money!

 

Summer Energy Savings

In some places, the summer months are the most expensive months when it comes to energy costs. The rising temperatures and your rising utility bills could really put a damper on your spirits! Especially if you have a very large or a very old home, you could be spending $300 or $400 per month or more to cool your home during the hottest parts of the summer season.

I know that’s money you would rather be spending on other things! So read on to learn how you can save summer energy consumption in order to save money on your monthly electric bill.

 

 

1. Turn up your AC to save on summer energy.

One of the easiest things you can do (and doing so is free!) to save money spent on summer energy is to turn up the temperature for your AC during the summer. To be most energy efficient, set your air conditioner to 78 degrees or higher during the summer.

Keeping the thermostat on a more economical setting may mean keeping windows open and using fans or finding other ways to stay cool during the summer (like these great neck coolers). It may mean being just a little bit uncomfortable some of the time. But you’ll sure notice a huge difference on your monthly utility bill as you are able to save summer energy consumption!

 

2. Give your AC unit a tune-up, and replace the filters regularly to save summer energy.

To keep your HVAC system running efficiently, have it tuned up and maintained regularly, and replace the filters as needed.

 

3. Buy a programmable thermostat to save on summer energy.

Another big tip  to save money on your summer energy bill is to buy and use a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can give you a good return on your money spent because they allow you to effortlessly set the thermostat higher during the summer when you’re sleeping or away from your home while at work or even on vacation (if you’ll return on a weekend day, for example, when you might have the thermostat set differently than you would for a weekday).

 

4. Use fans or an evaporative cooler when possible to save money on summer energy costs.

If you can, use portable fans and ceiling fans or an evaporative cooler instead of an air conditioner, as they generally use only about one-third of the energy of central air.

 

5. Install ceiling fans throughout your home to save summer energy.

If you do not already have them, install ceiling fans throughout your home to help keep your cooling bills down. Ceiling fans will help keep things cool in the summer by keeping the air circulating.

 

6. Use localized or targeted cooling.

By using localized or targeted cooling, you could potentially save a ton of money on your summer energy bill!

If you have a larger home, it may be more economical during the day to use fans or window AC units in just the rooms that you are in at any given time so that you can keep the thermostat set at a higher level for the rest of the home. We did this in our last home, which was about 1,000 square feet larger than this one, and it helped us to lower our summer energy bill significantly.

7. Wash your clothes in cold water to save summer energy.

Washing machines have improved so much in recent years that even washing your clothes in cold water will get them clean, so why not bank the savings?

8. Use dryer balls to save summer energy.

These awesome wool dryer balls can be used in place of dryer sheets to help reduce static cling and also to reduce the amount of time it takes you to dry your clothes, which also saves you money on your electric bill!

 

9. Hang your clothes out to dry to save on summer energy.

To save even more money, hang your clothes on a clothesline to dry. No power required (beyond solar power :)).

 

10. Clean the lint filter in your dryer after each use.

 hang your clothes out to dry, be sure to replace your dryer lint filter after every use so that your dryer can run as efficiently as possible.

 

11. Set your water heater at a lower temperature.

Set your water heat at 120 degrees or below to save money on summer energy.

 

12. Shower with cold water.

I know this one is a little extreme, but if you live in a place that is warm enough, consider showering with cold water. 🙂 While serving a mission for my church (in a less developed country), I showered for months using a shower that had no hot water.

It was summertime in the jungle, so doing so was only mildly uncomfortable. When it did get cooler, they installed a water heater for us. (In the apartments we lived in, but I think also in general, they have the kind of water heater units that attach right to the showerhead.)

 

13. Wear cooler clothing.

Wear cooler, thin, loosely fitting clothing, during the summer months to help your body naturally remain cooler.

14. Use your dishwasher less in order to save summer energy.

To save energy while doing the dishes, wait until your dishwasher is full before doing a load of dishes, and if you have only a few dishes, quickly wash them by hand and put them in a rack to dry to save even more energy and money. Want to save even more? Do your dishes by hand most of the time, like we usually do!

When you do use the dishwasher, set them to air dry.

 

15. Use your dishwasher and dryer at night.

During the summer months, use your dishwasher and dryer (when you do use them) at night so that they will not heat your home up during the day. 

 

16. Replace old windows and doors and seal leaks to save summer energy.

There are many relatively inexpensive things you can do around your home to improve its energy efficiency. For example, you can caulk around your windows and put weather stripping around your doors. Or spend more money and replace old windows (especially if they are single pane) or drafty doors. When we’ve replaced the windows for both of our homes (and the doors in one of our homes), we have found a contractor on Craigslist in order to save money on the installation, so look into that option in addition to Googling local installers.

 

17. Insulate your home against the heat.

This suggestion costs a little more money than most of the others (many of which you can do for free!), but if your home has poor insulation in the attic, for example, look at having more insulation added or having the old insulation replaced.

 

18. Check your air vents.

 Make sure your air vents are open and that they are free from dust, and make sure they are not blocked by furniture, rugs, toy bins, and so forth. 

 

19. Keep blinds and curtains drawn during the day to save on summer energy costs.

Help keep your home cooler during the summer by keeping your blinds and curtains closed during the heat of the day.

 

20. Open windows, turn on fans, and turn off the AC in the evening to save summer energy.

As much as possible, open window and turn on fans at night to keep your home cooler without having to use the AC. If you live in a climate where it cools off considerably at night, like we do, this is a great way to save money. We are able to do this for all but about one month during the summer, which I like so much better than having to keep the windows closed and running the AC all the time (I just love the natural cool air so much better than the AC air!).

 

21. Use the oven less to save on summer energy.

Use your oven less and a microwave, toaster, toaster oven, or outdoor grill more in order to help keep your home cooler and save money on summer energy costs.

 

22. Unplug any extra freezers or refrigerators if you can.

 If you have extra freezers or refrigerators, unplug them during the summer months if you can, particularly if they are outside or in a garage.

Also looking at moving these appliances into the house if you can. Do you have a spare room or corner in the basement where they could go? Keeping an extra freezer or refrigerator in your cooled home will mean it will not have to work so hard to keep food cold.

23. Replace old appliances with more energy-efficient models.

When old appliances such as your dishwasher and dryer wear out, replace them with (gently used, if you’re willing) energy-efficient models.

 

24. Replace old incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED light bulbs to save energy.

Here is another great way to save a substantial amount of energy long term. The energy efficiency of light bulbs has really improved over the last several years. By replacing your old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or, even more efficient, LED light bulbs, you’ll save money and help take care of Mother Earth, as well.

 

25. Turn off lights, TVs, computers, radios, night lights, and so forth when not in use to save energy.

Another way to save energy and therefore money on your electric bill is to turn off lights and electronics and so on when you are not using them. My three kiddos are pretty young, and I am regularly turning off particularly lights when I walk around the house.

 

26. Reduce trips in and outside of the house and keep doors and windows closed when the AC is on.

Try to keep the doors and windows closed to save on summer energy costs, especially on very hot days.

If you have younger children, this may be harder than it seems! I’m frequently closing doors during the  summer when the AC is running. Even though I would love to cool off the whole outside and make it a little cooler and more pleasant for everyone for the summer months, it’s just not feasible. I don’t recommend you do it. 😊

 

27. Keep lights off as much as possible during the day.

Similar to the item above, keep lights off as much as possible during the day. Where we live, during the summer months it is light by 5 or 6 in the morning and stays light till close to 10 at night for much of the summer. Since the natural light lasts so long, keep lights off to save money on your summer energy costs.

28. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use to save summer energy.

Even when turned off, your appliances and electronics use power (called “phantom” power). So unplugging your appliances and electronics can save energy and save a significant amount of money over time. To make saving that energy easier, you can use power strips, and then simply switch off the strips when those electronics or appliances are not in use.

29. Bonus energy-saving tip: Cut your home phone line if you still have one, or switch to a super cheap home phone option like ObiTalk, Ooma, or Magic Jack.

Another way you can save energy is to cut our home phone if you still have one and do not use it very often. Or on the other hand, if it will help you save on your cell phone bill—for example, by giving your children a way to talk to their friends on the phone so that you don’t feel rushed to buy them a cell phone—then use an inexpensive home phone alternative such as ObiTalk, Ooma, or Magic Jack.

We’ve used Magic Jack in the past, which worked quite well, and we are now using ObiTalk. With ObiTalk you pay just a one-time cost for the equipment (we paid about $40 off of Amazon for the Obi device), which is a small device that you plug into your modem. And now we have a dedicated home phone that we can use (over the internet—VOIP) without incurring a monthly or yearly bill. It’s awesome!

Magic Jack was a good product, but with it you had to pay a yearly fee of about $30. Not bad at all, but still more than the $0 per month payment we have now. 🙂 ObiTalk has worked great, so if you would like to keep or go back to having a dedicated home phone (for the kids’ friends to use to call them, for example), check them out!

We haven’t tried Ooma, and it’s a little bit more expensive option (though they have come down in price a lot in the last few years), but I have heard from others that their call quality is excellent, so you might want to check them out. With their service you buy the Ooma device, and as with ObiTalk, there are no monthly or yearly fees. The only cost is the initial cost of buying the device.

 

Conclusion

There are so many easy ways to save money on summer energy costs! If you are tired of paying hundreds of dollars a month to cool your home, then give these great summer energy saving tips a try!

Energy bills are the kind of bills I like the least—because you spend the money on something intangible; in a sense there isn’t much to show for your hard-earned money now being gone. What I mean is, you have nothing cool (beyond cooler temperatures, I guess; no pun intended) to show for all that money you spent. Not even fun memories, like with an awesome family vacation.

So though I know it’s a necessary evil to spend money on the power bill , that doesn’t make me want to spend my money on it! 🙂 So whenever I can save summer energy costs to reduce my spending in this area, I do. And with the tips above, I hope you are able to save summer energy—and therefore money—as well.

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