When the temperatures heat up, your electric bill tries to go through the roof. You're always going from room to room flipping the lights off and reminding your family that they don't live in a barn. There has to be a better way to save money on your summer electric bill. Here are a few ways to save money on your electric service during the warmest months of the year.
Replace Air Filters Often
In the simplest of terms, your air conditioner works by pulling air from your home inside it, supercooling the air and pushing it back into your home. As the air enters the unit, it brings with it all the dust, allergens, pet dander, and other debris with it. The air filter for your air conditioner keeps this debris from entering your HVAC unit.
When the air filter becomes dirty, the air conditioner motor works harder and hotter to cool the air. By changing the air filter, you ensure that the air conditioner runs smoothly and doesn't make your monthly electric bill any harder than necessary.
So how often should you change your air filter? Common wisdom says every three months. However, if you have pets or a smoker in the home, you might consider changing it every month. Air filters usually only cost a few dollars but it can make a big difference in your utility bills.
Cook and Bake in the Early Morning and Late Evening
As your oven heats up, it heats up the kitchen and other parts of the home. This can cause your air conditioner to run more often. If you change your schedule and cook in the early morning and late evening, the outside temperatures are lower so your home doesn't get as hot as it would in the middle of the day.
Summer is a great time to start a new meal prep routine so that you only cook once or twice a week. With a minute in the microwave, your family can enjoy a nutritious meal made by you, and you can spend the rest of the time enjoying summer fun.
Close Your Blinds and Shades
Natural light is beautiful as it streams into your home, but it's also heating up your home. During the hottest parts of the day, you want to keep your blinds and curtains closed so you don't need to cool off the house so often. The cost of air conditioning compared to the cost of turning on a light during the day is a lot higher. You might love natural light, but at least, consider closing the blinds and shades in the rooms that you aren't using.
Find Out the Electric Company's Peak Hours
You might think that your electric company charges you a flat per hour rate for your electric, and it does — sort of. The electric company does charge you a flat per hour rate but that rate per hour changes throughout the day. The utility company charges you more for service during peak hours and less during slower hours. If you can find out these hours, you can plan to do activities that require a lot of electricity during those periods, such as cooking, washing clothes, running an electric appliance.
Hang Your Clothes Out to Dry
Take advantage of the heat of the summer and hang your clothes up outside to dry. Your dryer is one of the biggest users of electricity so using it as little as possible saves you money. In the summer months, the dryer can also heat up your home, causing you to run the air conditioner more often. If you live in an apartment or don't have access to outdoor space to dry your clothes, consider buying a clothing rack to use as a dryer.
You don't want to pay any more for electricity during the summer months than is absolutely necessary. A few small changes can help put money back in your pocket.