As temperatures rise, so does the average utility bill. The summer months can be particularly brutal as far as electric costs go, and depending on the size of your home, you may end up paying more than you should have to. Selecting an affordable electric company should top your list as the most important solution when it comes to lowering your bills, but there are also some things that you can do as the homeowner to minimize your use and your bill.
Homes which leak heat or air conditioning can end up costing homeowners hundreds over the year in additional energy costs. It’s important to check the seals of your windows, doors, and check that your home has been properly insulated. As a rule of thumb, heat rises and cold air sinks. In the winter you should consider checking your attic or roof, closing up any seams that may allow warm air to escape, and for the summer, it’s especially important to check for gaps under doors and spaces in the basement. By properly inspecting your living space you may save yourself some trouble, and some money in the long run. If you’re concerned about a leak that you’re unable to find, consider hiring a local auditor who will use specialized equipment to check for escaping air pressure.
The “brain” of any heating or cooling system is an important part of conserving energy. By setting your thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer and a few degrees colder in the summer, the cost of making your house comfortable is bound to fall. You should never set your thermostat to more or less than room temperature (72 degrees) while you’re not home. Many people have a timer built in to their thermostat which helps regulate the temperature when you’re at work, or enjoying a weekend trip. If no one is there to enjoy the air conditioning, why waste money providing it?Consider alternative ways to heat or cool your home which reduce energy costs. Invest in a ceiling fan, or box fan, rather than blasting the air conditioner for those less than baking days. Take a cold shower, let the kids play out in the sprinkler, or help yourself to a nice, tall glass of iced tea. In the winter, consider baking, as the natural heat from the oven will warm your home. Add a few logs to the fire, and warm your toes that way, reducing electric consumption.
Spruce up the Garden
There’s nothing more refreshing than the shade of a tree on a hot, summer day. One way to reduce cooling costs is to plant shrubs or trees around your home, in order to shade the house, providing a naturally cooling environment. Consider creating artificial share with an outdoor patio or by drawing your blinds or shades to block out some of the direct sunlight filtering in to your home. Your utility bill will thank you.
While you’re out, floating in the pool, make sure your unused electronics are unplugged, as they draw on power even while you’re not using them. It may not keep you cool this summer, but it’ll save you a little extra cash to splurge on a trip to the beach.