Saving Energy While Saving Money
It’s complaining season—it’s hot and those electric bills are going up just as fast as the temps. Summer is here and those electric bills be a shocker if you don’t watch it. However, there are ways to cut your energy costs without spending a fortune. Give your bank account a break with these summer energy savings tips:
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate—Adding insulation will keep you cooler and deliver savings on your next electric bill. Whether you hire a professional or DIY, consider this short term cost for long term monthly savings. Insulation will often pay for itself in terms of savings in months, make your home more comfortable, and is a great feature when selling! If you don’t want to go as far as adding insulation, consider light-blocking energy efficient curtains. These curtains can lower the temps by several degrees without spending thousands.
Shop the plans – Many electric companies have different plans that offer discounted or free hours of electricity. For instance, if you have an electricity plan that has free electricity from 8-10pm, run your dishwasher and laundry during the free hours. It may seem like a small savings, but over time it will matter! If you are unsure of your current plan or haven’t checked it in a while, log on to your electric company’s website (or call them) to options in your area.
Mind the Temps—Sweat dripping down your forehead is pretty much the worst, I think we can all agree on that. Running the air conditioner accounts for 50-70% of your electric bill, so it’s hard to ignore. Regardless of what type of thermostat you have, set the temp to as high as you feel comfortable in the summer. The smaller the difference of inside and outside temps, the lower your electric bill will be. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but for every degree you raise the thermostat during a 24-hour period, you will save 2-4% on your cooling costs. That is nothing to sneeze at over a month’s time!
If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider installing one. Is there a time every day when no one is home? If so, you could save 7-10% per month by programming your thermostat at 78 degrees (or higher) for those hours the house is empty. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, get in the habit of raising the temperature before you leave for the day. You don’t have to completely sweat it out to save on your electric bill, but there’s no need to run an A/C super cold for an empty house.
Conserving energy makes sense (and cents) for everyone that uses electricity and likes to save a buck. You won’t be able to ditch the bill entirely, but making small changes can save you some seriously big bucks. If it’s still too hot, you can always just give in and cool off with a swim.
Lisa E. Priest has trouble turning the thermostat up and is a Palestine, Texas Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com