What… the… heck? It’s almost June and I FINALLY felt confident putting my winter coat in storage for the year. The rest of the winter jackets are still in the coat closet. I’m not kidding. We went from winter jackets to swimsuit season with nothing in the middle. While missing out on spring may seem like no big deal, the unseasonal weather meant that our heater ran longer into the calendar year than normal and now we’re running the air conditioner. It’s a bit nuts and for some, it can be a financial hardship. By implementing some of these tips, you should be able to save money on your electric bill.
Close your doors and windows
Let’s start with the basics. Make sure all the windows and doors are adequately closed. It may sound obvious, but if you have older children, they may have opened their windows for some fresh air (as they hibernate in their rooms while playing on their electronic devices). Along that same line, get your family members in the habit of closing exterior doors. You could install a door sensor to notify you when the doors are left ajar. Screen doors and storm doors can often be a culprit because technically, your child closed the door. Can’t be mad at that, right?
Adjust the thermostat
Everyone has their opinion on what is considered a comfortable temperature for inside the house. Consider raising the bar a notch. In other words, if your family prefers the thermostat set at 68, try setting it at 70. If you work outside the home or are traveling, adjust the temperature accordingly. No reason to cool a home when nobody is there.
Install a programmable thermostat
As the name implies, a programmable thermostat with WiFi capabilities allows you to schedule the temperature for particular times of day. Meeting running late? You can make temperature adjustments on the fly and still have the house at a comfortable level by the time you get home.
Invest in a fan
Sometimes you can get by with the thermostat a smidgen warmer if you have an oscillating fan running. You can find a variety of styles and price ranges of fans and are a nice backup to the air conditioner.
Run appliances at night
Large appliances can utilize a lot of energy. Some energy companies prorate charges based on whether you are drawing power during peak usage times. Regardless if this is your scenario or not, there are other advantages. If you’re running a clothes dryer in the middle of the day, you’re pushing additional heat into living space that you’re trying to keep cool. Your poor air conditioner probably doesn’t like that.
Find low-heat cooking options
In the same way that you don’t want to run the dryer in the middle of the day, cranking the heat up to 400 in the oven is going to make your air conditioner work extra also. Try mixing things up for dinner by making dinner in a Crock Pot, slow cooker, air fryer or InstaPot which will generate much less heat throughout the kitchen. Might I suggest Crock Pot chili or Teriyaki Chicken Wings? Making sushi is easy with the right tools. As another alternative, try grilling out. Try this amazing pulled pork recipe and you may want to cook it all the time.
Invest in energy-saving appliances
I know, I know. Appliances are expensive. Take advantage of store promotions but also check your utility companies to see if rebates are available for upgrading. Check Out this Week’s Major Appliance Deals and More, Plus Free Delivery on Orders $399 and Up
Don’t let lights run up the bill
You have a couple of options when it comes to lights. First, don’t leave lights on that don’t need to be. More important, invest in energy efficient lights. We recently followed household trends in lighting and upgraded most of the lights in our home to either daylight LED bulbs or Philips Hue. Being able to program the lights to turn on and off is pretty awesome, but telling Alexa to turn off your lights is even cooler.
Service your appliances
It’s usually cheaper to maintain your heating and air conditioning units than it is for a service call. Small adjustments in the Freon levels can help your A/C unit run more efficiently. Of course, one of the cheapest ways to keep your units running efficiently is to regularly change your furnace filters!
Not using it? Turn it off.
Whether it’s a computer, small kitchen appliance or some gadget for the kids, if you aren’t using it then consider turning it off or unplugging it. There have been days where I’ve left the TV running even though I’m not watching it. I should turn it off and run a news program in the background on my computer or listen to music on my Echo and it would be more energy efficient. I go through spells where I don’t drink coffee (or may opt for cold brew instead) and the only thing my coffee pot does is tell me the time. It’s the perfect example of what to unplug.
Some of these ideas require a front-end investment that will pay off over a number of years while others are simple common sense. Implement one or all and you should see some relief in your energy bills!
What is your favorite trick or tip for reducing your energy bills?