Three Quick and Easy Changes to Lower Your Summer Electric Bill
With summer in full swing, you’re likely trying to stay as cool as possible from the sweltering heat. If left unchecked, that extra energy use can lead to a spike on your energy bill. Luckily, there are many quick and easy ways to keep energy use low while staying comfortable at home. Make these three simple changes at home to help lower your next bill.
1.) Adjust Your Thermostat
Heating and cooling costs account for nearly 50% of a typical home’s energy bill, more than any other utility we use over the summer. In the summer, set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible for maximum savings. Every degree of extra cooling needed can increase your energy usage by 6% to 8%. When you’re away for an extended period of time, increase the temperature by 6-8 degrees for better energy savings. Using a programmable thermostat also lets you set a schedule for when you’re awake, sleeping or away from home.
Pro tip: Turn on your ceiling fan to feel cooler. By using a fan, you can raise your thermostat about 4 degrees without noticing a difference. It not only gives your A/C a break, but reduces the humidity in your home. Just remember: fans cool people, not rooms, so make sure to turn off the fan when nobody is in the room.
2.) Reduce Hot Water Use
Heating water is the 2nd largest energy expense for many homeowners, accounting for about 18% of your home’s energy use. One of the most recommended ways to cut energy cost is to reduce the amount of hot water you use.
Set your water heater to 120 degrees, which is hot enough for everyday needs and saves energy. On average, for every 10 degrees reduction in water temperature, you can save around 5% on your energy bill.
When doing laundry, set your washer to use cold water, which is just as effective for cleaning your clothes and saves energy.
Pro tip: If you like taking hot showers, installing a low-flow showerhead will help you use less water and save energy needed to heat the water.
3.) Shut It Off
Lighting accounts for about 12% of a typical residential utility bill. Always make sure to turn lights off in rooms you are not using.
With many of us spending more time at home, it’s important to turn off the television and computer monitors when not in use. At night, put your computer into sleep mode.
Finally, don’t leave your bathroom fan running longer than necessary. It’s recommended to run the bathroom fan for about 15-20 minutes during or after bathing to remove moisture and prevent mold. Leaving it running for long periods of time can actually be a fire hazard.
Pro tip: Switch all of your lightbulbs to LEDs. They give off less heat and use a fraction of the energy required for incandescent bulbs.