If you dread opening the envelope to your utility bill, sitting in a dark room every night eating cold beans from a can to save money, there are changes you can be making without compromising your lifestyle. With ever-rising gas prices, it’s important to keep your bills down. But in the hot summer months, it’s also important to stay cool. Here are 5 easy ways to lower your utility bills in the summer months without changing your lifestyle.
Keep Appliances Up to Date
Even if you only use a small portable air conditioner to cool certain rooms in the home, it can cost you a lot of money if it isn’t running efficiently. Have a certified technician come and check your air-conditioning system and ventilation to ensure that there are no leaks or other unnoticeable problems. If you run old, outdated appliances like refrigerators or washing machines in your home you should seriously consider replacing them for new energy-efficient models. At the very least, clean the coil in the back of the fridge to keep it operating at maximum efficiency.
Close the Blinds
Having the sun streaming through the windows may be attractive, but it also produces a lot of extra heat, causing your air-conditioner to work twice as hard as it needs to. Keeping your curtains or blinds closed during the hottest times of the day will keep the temperature in your home stable. If you are going out for the day, remember to close the curtains and turn your air-conditioner down. Using an automated thermostat can also save you a lot of money, as you can program it to turn down your cooling system during the times you are usually not at home.
Install Water Efficient Taps
During the warmer months you’ll naturally be using more water, so it makes sense to conserve as much water as possible. By installing water efficient taps throughout your home you can significantly cut down on the amount of water you use. The most important item to replace is your showerhead, as it is often where the most water is wasted. Low flow toilets are also a good idea, as toilets are known to use about 40% of your total water consumption. Other little ways to save water include not leaving water running while you brush your teeth and only watering your lawn when the sun is low.
Cook Outside More Often
Enjoying outdoor activities like barbeques and picnics during the summer months can actually save you money. Outdoor cooking helps you save gas or electricity that would otherwise be spent running an oven or stove, and you will be keeping your house cooler, giving your air-conditioner a break as well.
Use Smart Power Strips and Motion Sensors
You may not realize it, but leaving your appliances and electronics plugged in when you aren’t using them actually wastes a lot of electricity—as much as 20 percent of your total bill! By investing in a few smart strips for your home, you can reduce the amount of unnecessary electricity being used by appliances that aren’t even on. Motion sensors are great when you have kids, but not as much if you have pets home alone in the rooms where they are installed.
What are some things you do during the summer to keep your utility bills low? Are the summer months generally more or less expensive for you than the winter months?
Jessica Bosari is a PerkStreet Customer Columnist, as well as the Site Manager and Editor for billeater a blog with money-saving tips to lower your bills. When she’s not gathering money-saving tips, Jessica is feeding her geeky side with sci-fi movies, tech gadgets, useful apps and productivity tricks, just to keep things interesting. Read more of Jessica’s great financial advice on Perkstreet’s blog, or view her other money-saving tips at billeater.com.