Ah, yes. That time of year when it feels like we’re walking on the surface of the sun, but it’s, in fact, just summer in Texas. That time of year where an ice cream cone becomes ice cream soup, and we all settle for the sweat stain on our backs.
And if you’re like most Texans, you also might be sweating your electric bill, because of the heightened AC usage, 24/7. We’re here to help alleviate some of that metaphorical sweat. But we’re not here to lie to you. Your electricity bill will likely go up. It’s just math. You’re using more electricity, so your bills go higher. Like more than a 50% increase in some cases.
We’re just here to shed some light on some small things you can do to keep your home’s energy bills in check this summer so you can stay cool and save money.
Save money on your electric bill with these 11 tips
If you’re not home, there’s no sense in blasting the air conditioning. Keep it around 80. We know, that sounds hot, but if nobody is home, why not?
If it’s sunny, shut your blinds. Keeping the relentless sun from entering your home is essential if you want to save money on energy costs. At night, instead of relying on your air conditioning unit, take advantage of the lower temperatures by opening windows and allowing nature to cool your home.
Be a fan of ceiling fans. Keep air moving in your home so there’s always a nice breeze blowing through. This will help you cut down on energy costs and save money on your next energy bill.
Check your AC or HVAC system. Clearing a clogged AC filter can save up to 10% of your energy use. So, be sure to clean your AC and regularly check up on your HVAC system. Consider opting for home protection plans in the summer, or a surge protection plan.
Seal off any gaps around doors and windows. It seems minor, but even the smallest crack or opening can let the cold air out and hot air in.
Say YES to LED light bulbs. Switch to fluorescent or LED lights that give off about 90% of the light and 10% of the heat, compared to regular old light bulbs. It’s a smart move if you want to reduce energy costs.
Turn off and unplug kitchen appliances that tend to run all day. This includes things like coffee machines, microwaves, and blenders. Why pump energy to them if you’re not using them? We also recommend plugging all these like appliances into a power strip, so you can easily turn them all off (and all back on).
Rearrange furniture to optimize airflow. This means making sure your furniture isn’t directly under or covering an air duct, stifling the flow of cool air.
Wash your clothes in cold water. This uses less energy, lowers energy costs, and your clothes will still get clean. Temperature doesn’t matter when it comes to getting your clothes clean.
Turn off the heat dry on your dishwasher. Instead, let them air dry. Heat dry uses more than 15% more energy than necessary, which can raise your electricity bill.
Harness the power of Time of Use (TOU) plans to trim your electric bills. TOU plans offer lower rates during specific off-peak hours, so consider adjusting your energy-intensive activities, like laundry and dishwashing, to these times. By making the most of TOU rates, you can reduce energy costs and keep your home cool without breaking a sweat over high electricity bills.
These 11 tips are all simple, actionable, and helpful to keep your electric bill in check during peak times. It’ll help reduce your energy usage while continuing to reduce your carbon footprint.