Summertime is the season to enjoy the weather and get outside. But indoors, your electricity cost are steadily climbing – which could mean big energy bills for those that aren’t carefully. Luckily, there are a number of ways to actually use the summer heat to your advantage. Here’s how to keep cool and reduce your electricity costs.
How to manage your air conditioner temperature and cool your home properly
Air conditioning is a big part of the energy consumption in your home, especially in summer. If you want to make a dent in your monthly bill, start this smart cooling strategy:
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer – every degree of extra cooling will increase electricity usage by as much as 8 percent.
- Set your thermostat to at least 80 degrees if your home is vacant for more than a few hours.
- Position your ceiling and plug in fans so that they are pointed directly at someone at all times. Fans only work if they are blowing air on someone – they do nothing to cool an empty room.
- Keep your windows and doors shut as much as possible. Limit the amount of time the door is open when you are entering or leaving your house.
- Keep your curtains closed during the day to block the sun’s ability to warm your house.
- Clean your air conditioner by washing the coils and clearing high grass around it.
- Do not use a humidifier unless it’s necessary.
How to use summer heat to actually lower your bill
Now, that you are cooling your home correctly it’s time to harness the power of the heat. Here’s how to do it well.
- Dry your clothes outside on a clothesline. The summer heat will save about $.50 per load, which can really add up over an entire summer.
- Use the grill and avoid the oven. By cooking outside, you avoid heating your home with the heat that escapes from your oven and stove while cooking inside.
- Get outside as much as possible. Enjoy the outdoors, use sunscreen, and stay safe and healthy. When you’re outside for hours, set your thermostat to at least 80 degrees (unless you have animals home) and come home when the sun goes down.