Stay Cool This Summer With These Energy Saving Tips

You can already feel the clamminess on your skin as you reminisce about the dog days of summer. Summertime means ice cold lemonade, white sand beaches, sunbathing and picnics at the park, the AC on full blast at home to cool you down after a full day in the heat. Summer days are magical. That is until the electric bill arrives. You don’t have to cancel your summer vacation just afford to keep your house reasonably comfortable during those unbearably hot months. Try these simple tricks to help lower your energy bill and stay cool this summer.

Tips and Tricks

  •        Vents – Take a minute to walk around your house and open all of the vents. Even if you aren’t the culprit other members of the family might close them for various reasons, or maybe you live in a rental and the previous tenants closed them. Your air conditioner could really be struggling to keep your home cool if all the vents aren’t wide open and helping out.
  •        Air filters – You should be changing your air filter quite often. Experts suggest every 90 days if you don’t have any pets. That number drops down to 60 days with a dog or cat and 20-45 days if you have multiple pets or suffer from allergies. Replacing your air filters regularly will increase airflow and further reduce your bill.
  •        Fans – Fans are cheaper to run than air conditioning and help circulate the air. In the summer, you want to switch your ceiling fan’s rotation direction so that it is blowing a gentle breeze downwards.
  •        Reduce heat – Appliances create a lot of extra heat in your house. Reduce the number of loads of laundry you do during the day. Try to only run the washer, dryer and dishwasher in the evening after eight.
  •        Thermostat – Install a programmable thermostat. This allows you to set the air conditioner for one temperature when you are home and another for when you are away. You can also manually turn I your current thermostat up or down as you come and go.
  •        Windows – Take advantage of cooler parts of the day to air out your home and give the air conditioner a break. Sometimes mornings and evenings are cool enough to leave the windows open. A little fresh air does the body and the energy bill some good. You can even use a window fan to help push some of that cool night air inside.

These are just a few simple ways to reduce your energy bill. You can also make bigger strides by doing things like painting your roof white or installing foam roofing. These steps require more investment but usually have greater returns as well. If it is time for a new roof anyway, consider making an upgrade to a more energy-efficient roof.

Summertime is all about getting outside for some fun in the sun. But there is nothing quite like the relief of escaping inside to a nice cool home. Stop fretting about the large bill that is likely to show up at the end of the month by trying some of these simple measures to reduce your bill.

Anum Yoon is the founder and editor of Current on Currency. She loves all things personal finance, which is why you'll find her work all over the PF blogosphere.

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