Running the AC at full blast might bring comfort on hot days, but nobody likes the high utility bills that typically follow. Let’s look at how to better manage your electricity costs this summer—while staying comfortable!
Be mindful of your electric usage
Start by taking stock of what you really need your energy for. Do you need to do that load of laundry in the middle of the day? Should the lights be on even when you have sunlight streaming in? Utilities constantly work off supply and demand, so using energy when other people aren’t (like early in the day or late at night) is another great way to be more efficient.
The goal with mindfulness is to see what you can remove or adjust for the summer while your air conditioning is spinning your meter. Consider this a bonus hack, but by making slight changes to your routine, you can keep costs on pace with the rest of the year, even while you’re cooling your home every day. Then, once the cool weather returns, you can go back to your usual routine.
1. Consider what you use electricity for
Just because you can turn the lights on, doesn’t mean you should. If there is enough light coming in from Mother Nature, go ahead and skip the illumination. The clothes dryer is another energy drain that could be foregone in the summer months. Take it way back with a clothes line. This hack works especially well for things like towels and sheets. Supplement your dryer usage by separating out these larger items for line drying.
2. Do an electric blitz around the house
Even when you aren’t using power, your home is probably still drawing power. So, try an “efficiency blitz” where you go through the house curbing needless energy expenditures. To do this, give these four tips a try:
- Replace your furnace filter. This can make a difference in how efficiently your house uses energy.
- When you bake, try using the light instead of opening the door to check for doneness. Letting that heat out makes your AC work harder as well as your oven.
- This summer, pull the curtains and close vents in rooms you aren’t using to minimize the work your air conditioning must do.
- Unplug chargers and devices when you are done with them. Don’t let energy vampires into your house!
When technology is plugged in, even when it is turned off, it still pulls electricity from the outlet. This is known as an energy vampire.
3. Program your thermostat and fans
This energy-efficient hack packs a powerful one-two punch. Here’s what you can do to make a big difference with a small change:
- First, install a learning thermostat, such as a Nest Learning Thermostat™, to manage your air conditioning.
- Then, set some pedestal fans around the house on timers.
- Have the fans turn on an hour before you typically return from work.
Combined with a smart thermostat that knows when you’re home, you can ensure that you return to cool air everywhere in your house. This works especially well because fans keep air moving which can make you feel cooler without having to drop the temperature as much. Keep the fans running even after you’re home to maximize this hack’s effect.
4. Fix your electric supply for predictable costs
Locking in a fixed rate on your electricity supply before the heat reaches its peak allows you to weather any spikes in market prices with a cool head. Work with a direct energy supplier to take advantage of seasonal savings. You’ll gain the peace of mind that your rate won’t jump even if electricity prices go up. You can check out our rates here.
There are lots of ways you can make the most of the energy you have available to you. For more ideas, contact your local IGS Energy Home Energy Consultant.