Easy hacks to save money on your electricity bill this Summer
Whether you're sweating from the heat or the high electricity bills, here's how you can cut down on your expenses. The average home in the United States uses about 903 kilowatts a year. Most of it from hot and cold months.
How do you keep your home cool during the Summer? Simple, you've gotta do what you can to stop the heat from ever coming into your home, while keeping the cold air from getting out.
Keep in mind that none of these hacks are going to save you a ton of money on their own. But if you combined all of them and do a little bit here and there, you can save a pretty good amount of money. Just be consistent and keep at it.
Use blinds, curtains or plant a tree on the south and west facing side of your home
Plant trees near the south parts of your home and create year-round shade to keep that hot sun OUT of your home. If planting a tree is out of the question, use blackout shades and curtains around your windows to keep the sun out.
Install double-pane windows and insulate them
This one may be one of the most important things you can do around your home to save on your electricity bills during hot (and cold) months. During the summer, keep the curtains and blinds closed in order to not let the heat (or cold air during winter months) through. In doing so, your air conditioning won't have to work as hard to keep things at a constant temperature.
Seal off any air leaks around your doors and windows
Use a draft stopper under your doors if you see any sunlight coming through. If you do see any light through the edge of your doors or windows, there's a good chance that the cool air inside your home is leaking out... or worse, that hot air from outside is seeping IN!
Pack your freezer more tightly
If you had an empty freezer, it would take longer for it to get to the right temperature than one that is packed. Why? The frozen food in a packed freezer helps to keep the cold in and makes it so that your freezer doesn't have to work double-time in order to cool down all that empty space. Don't over pack it either. You still need that cold air to circulate around your freezer! Need to fill it up? Use ziplock bags of ice!
Wash your laundry with cold water and air dry your clothes
If you can bypass using hot water to do your laundry, do it. Any unnecessary work that your water heater doesn't have to do is a plus.
When you're done, put that hot, warm, dry air to use! Washing your clothes by hand is kind of time-consuming. Luckily, drying them is not. Hang dry your clothes when possible. Dryers use lots of energy. You can thank the heating component and the motor that spins the drum for that part.
Limited on space in your laundry room? Just hang dry your garments, button shirts, and pants. That way your dryer could just focus on drying your smaller items like socks and underwear; it'll complete the job sooner too with fewer things in there. You'll notice your jeans will be crisper as well. Some like it better that way.
If you're hanging your clothes in the sun, make sure to hang the colored clothing in the shade. The direct sun may actually damage the colors; thanks, UV rays!
Use LED bulbs
Let's do some simple math: take an 80w bulb and multiply that by the number of bulbs you have on around your home. The watts add up! Switch your old incandescent bulbs out for LED bulbs when possible. By switching to LED bulbs, you are using about 75% less energy in bulbs alone. Think they're too expensive? Trying looking for these at your local 99 cent store.
Turn off your power strips when possible
Did you know that even when your electronics are plugged in and powered off, they're still pulling electricity from the grid? Take your cable box for instance. It is working in the background by recording your shows and updating things while you're out. Maybe that's not the greatest example since no one in their right mind would ever unplug their box and miss recording their shows while they're out, but you get the idea.
Use a two-speed pump if you have a pool
Two-speed pumps can reduce your pool's energy use by half. But keep in mind, that fewer RPMs could mean less efficiency. Find out if a two-speed pump works for your current pool and setup.
Wanna lower your electricity bills? Get solar panels and start producing your own electricity. There are even grants available if you qualify. Once your panels are paid off, you can reap the benefits of self-produced energy. When the power goes out in your area, you won't be affected.
Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning
By blowing cool air down on warm days, and circulating the current air that's already in your home, you can stay comfortable knowing that you're saving some money. Sure nothing beats cold air coming out of your A/C, but if you're trying to save money on your electric bill, why not? Every little bit helps.
Turn everything off and spend the day at an indoor mall or department store
If all else fails, go on a day trip to your local indoor mall or department store. When you get home at night, simply open all of your windows and doors and let that hot air out.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images