Anyone who has experienced a brutally hot summer knows the importance of air conditioners and fans, as well as the shocking electric bill that can show up the following month. Air conditioning is one of the biggest culprits of summer electricity consumption but there are other, less obvious contenders as well. Fortunately, easy methods exist to help you reduce your summer energy bill. Many of these tips can not only reduce electricity consumption during summer but actually keep your house cooler as well.
First of all, don’t over-air condition your house or office. Many homes and places of business are cooled to the point where a sweater is needed to be comfortable. When it is over a hundred degrees outside, there’s simply no reason for this. A good rule of thumb is to keep the thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher while people are in the building, and a little higher when everyone is away. Air conditioning is one of the biggest contributors to high summer electric bills. There are many other ways to keep a home cool, such as opening windows during cooler hours, and using blackout shades during the warmest part of the day. Fans can also be used to increase air circulation, as these do consume electricity but not as voraciously as an air conditioner.
Lights are always a significant cause of electricity consumption, even when the days are long. Make sure that lights are not left on in empty rooms, and turn off lights when natural lighting is strong enough. Not only will this help reduce electricity consumption during summer, but it will also keep your house cooler and thus more pleasant to be in during a heat wave. Even if you will be returning to a room in a few minutes, it is a good idea to turn the light off when you exit. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs are also much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs, and release less heat.
When the days are hot, there is no need for a clothes dryer. Not only do dryers take a considerable amount of energy, they emit enough heat to make your house more of a sauna than it already is. If you have the space outside, put up a clothesline and dry clothes in the sunshine, turning them inside out to reduce fading. An added bonus of this method is the pleasant smell of sun-dried laundry. If you do not have a yard or your neighbors do not look kindly on clotheslines, make a small investment in a drying rack. These are usually made of wood and are very inexpensive, but allow you to dry clothes inside without using any electricity at all.
Power strips can always save energy but allowing you to easily turn off appliances that are not in use. Some electronics, including computers, TVs, and stereos, use a small amount of electricity even when they are in standby mode. Whenever these appliances are not being used, just flip the switch on the power strip in order to reduce electricity consumption.
Finally, make sure that your freezer and refrigerator are not set at too low of a temperature. Just like air conditioners, making these appliances work too hard to produce a cooler temperature than is actually necessary uses a considerable amount of electricity. to reduce electricity consumption during summer – or any time – make sure they are set to the manufacturer’s recommended temperature and no lower.