Utility bills are often highest in the months where weather is the most extreme. However, it might not be just heating and cooling your home that’s leading to such a spike in your energy bill — it might also be that you aren’t following certain best practices. Here are five tips to reduce your energy bill this summer and stay cool for less:
1. Be consistent with your thermostat. While a “smart” thermostat is the best way to maintain the temperature in your home and avoid the urge to raise and lower the temperature at will, a regular thermostat can still be optimized for energy savings. The Department of Energy recommends keeping your home 7 to 10 degrees F warmer than normal for at least eight hours of the day, which can yield a savings of up to 10%.
2. Only use cold water when you wash clothes. Forgoing the hot water setting on your washing machine can save you around $60 per year, according to a study by SaveOnEnergy.com. Plus, as a bonus, using cold water to wash your clothes can actually help preserve the quality.
3. Optimize your windows. If your windows aren’t properly sealed, you could be wasting energy simply by trying to cool a room that isn’t well insulated. Adding weather stripping to your windows can help reduce this issue, as well as installing well-fitting exterior shutters that you can close on particularly hot and sunny days.
4. If you have appliances or devices you don’t use frequently, resist the habit of keeping them plugged into the wall. Only plugging in while in use can add up to big utility savings over time.
5. Upgrade your appliances. While it can be a big expense upfront, energy efficient appliances can save you more money in the long run. This is especially true for larger appliances with a big footprint in your energy bill, like washers and dryers or refrigerators.
Even checking off one of these items can make a difference in your summer energy bill, so start making changes today.