Archive for May 16, 2022

Keep Cool on a Budget as Summer Temperatures Arrive

In some places, it is already beginning to feel a little less like spring and a lot more like summer. This can be a huge shock to some as they try to readjust their power budget for the higher prices that summer tends to bring. It can also be a problem for those worried about power grids failing. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to conserve energy while the temperature spikes. These ten ideas can truly transform the way you handle summer, which will definitely make you feel more confident about your budget during the hot months.

1. Turn Up the A/C
The first thing you can do, which might not sound ideal, is to turn up the air conditioner. Keeping the temperature in your home at 72 degrees isn’t feasible if you’re trying to conserve power. If you want to save, then you should know that keeping the thermostat at 75 degrees can conserve 10% of the energy you use, and every degree above this will save you even more. If you turn on fans, then you should be able to sit comfortably in this temperate when dressed appropriately. Of course, experts do suggest you keep the thermostat at 85 degrees, which might be something else to consider.

2. Shade Windows
Your windows are a great way to get some airflow and light in the home; however, they can increase the amount of heat in your home. There is a simple solution to this problem though. All you have to do is shade your windows. An awning is one of the easiest ways to do this and you can easily purchase for cheap and set it up yourself. A more natural solution to this problem is to ensure you have plenty of trees and bushes that provide shade. More shaded plants will help improve the value of your home while allowing you to enjoy fresher air too. You might look into what grows best in your area before you begin to plant. Of course, you can also shade the interior of your windows with blinds, shutters, or light-blocking curtains.

3. Invest in Fans
A fan can be your best friend on hot days, which is why you might invest in a few for the long months. Ceiling fans can be one of your best options because they are going to provide a better distribution of airflow. However, if you can’t do this then a box fan can really keep things cool. A fan can actually help you feel several degrees cooler, so you might even be able to turn off the air conditioner on days that aren’t especially hot. You might also consider personal fans to help keep you cool when you’re outside or sitting in an area that doesn’t have a fan. If you’re worried about power outages, then battery-operated fans are definitely a must to have.

4. Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
Another way to cut down on your power bill during the long months of summer is to take the water heater down a notch. Chances are if you’ve spent a day outside in the heat, the last thing you’re going to want is a scorching hot shower to end your day. Since you probably won’t be using the higher water setting, then turning it down for a while won’t do any harm. This will mean your power bill will lessen without you having to sacrifice anything. Plus, cutting back on extremely hot water is great for your skin.

5. Replace Your Air Filter
Regularly changing your air filter is great for numerous reasons. However, did you know that it can help to cut back on your power use? When your air filter is full, it makes your air conditioning system work harder to register the temperature of the house. Since your system will know when the air needs cooling, it will be able to do so faster and cut down your power use. Apart from that, having clean filters can help prevent problems from occurring while allowing you to feel healthier.

6. Cook Outside
Cooking inside can raise the heat in your home, which can cause your air conditioning to go off more often than it needs to. One of the best things you can do during the summer months is cook outside. If you have a grill, then you can enjoy summer-friendly foods that require very little effort. A smoker can also help you make large portions of meats that can be eaten over a few days so you don’t have to cook as often. Cooking outdoors will help to keep any smells outdoors too, which will make your home more comfortable. Even if you can’t cook outside for whatever reason, you should try to avoid the summer to ensure that you don’t heat up the home. Cold meals, sandwiches, and anything you can think of that don’t need to be cooked can be a big helper.

7. Know When to Run Appliances
You might want to think twice about using more than just your oven during the summer months. In fact, any appliance in your home can be a real drain on your energy costs, which can harm you when energy prices are already so high. Some states will even charge higher rates during certain periods of the day. As a rule, you should skip running the washer, dryer, dishwasher, and any other major appliance between noon and 8 PM. If you can get your chores finished before or after this time, you won’t have to deal with worrying about your bills being too high.

8. Get Outside
Rather than staying indoors and trying to keep cool, you can turn your air conditioning up a few notches and get outside instead. If you have a pool or other way of playing in the cool water, then you might consider spending as much of your time as you can doing this. You can also enjoy time at the park or other activities that make summer amazing. If you just want to lounge outside, then you might consider setting up a mister to help keep you cool as you relax.

9. Reseal Your Home
If your insulation is old, it could be costing you a whole lot of money in cooling. Keeping on top of your insulation is crucial as this is going to keep your home cooler or warmer for much longer. Luckily, insulation is inexpensive to purchase and pretty easy to install. In fact, there are even tutorial options that you can check out if you’re worried that you won’t do it correctly.

10. Unplug
Keeping items that you no longer use plugged in can also do a number on your energy costs. The items still pull power when not in use, which means you’re paying for items you’re not actually using. Apart from that, some of these items can actually add warmth to your home, which is going to mean you’re going to have to cool down the home even more. Simply unplugging everything when you’re done with it is your best option. A smart surge protector can also help quite a bit and can take some of the hassles out of the process.

Keeping cool doesn’t have to come with a lot of sacrifices, as these ten tips will help you to get where you need to be so you can save big without sweating buckets. As the heat continues, hopefully you will find relief when you combine many of these tips to keep your electric bill comfortable.