In the scorching summer months, you give your air conditioner quite a workout. And that means high electric bills. But there are some things you can do to keep those bills under control. Here are a few (and note many of these can be applied throughout the year).
How to Reduce Your Electric Bill in the Summer
- Change your AC filter. If your AC has a dirty filter, it will make the unit less efficient, driving up costs. Cleaning or replacing your filter can save 5% to 15% on energy use, plus keeping your unit running more efficiently and potentially extending its life.
- Vent. While you are at it, make sure the vents are clean. And if the vents are in a room you don’t use, close them so the cool air can flow elsewhere.
- Adjust your thermostat. Keep yourself just cool enough. Each degree higher you set your thermostat can save energy usage as much as 1% to 3%.
- Better yet, invest in a Wi-Fi or smart programmable thermostat. It allows you to set the temperature a little cooler when you are awake at home, and higher if you are not home or are sleeping.
- Be a fan of fans. Another way to keep the electricity bill down is to use attic and ceiling fans. These move air to keep you more comfortable. Also, when you shower or bathe, use the bathroom exhaust fan to remove heat and humidity.
- Insulate. Speaking of the attic, make sure yours is properly insulated. It can protect the rest of the house from the heat (and the cold in the winter) to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Be outside. If you are outside, your air conditioner does not need to be running. Lights can be turned off. Appliances and electronics too.
- Unplug. Even if you are indoors, if you are not using an appliance or an electrical device, unplug it.
- Energy Star. Speaking of appliances, when you purchase new ones, look for the Energy Star label to know you are getting the most efficient products. They may cost more initially, but that cost will be more than offset by lower utility bills over the life of the product.
- Plants. You can do things on the outside of the house to help cool the inside. Planting shrubs and trees on the south and west sides of your house can make your system run more efficiently.
- Full loads. Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when they have full loads. Doing laundry with cold water and hang drying can also help.
- Time your activities. If possible, do things like run your dishwasher or washing machine during non-peak hours – either late at night or early in the morning. That is when rates are lower.
- Cover your windows. Keep the shades or blinds down during the day to keep the sizzling summer sun out of the house. (Of course, keep them open during the day in the winter to let the sun warm your home).
- But open the windows when appropriate. If the evening is cool, you can open your windows and let the pleasant outside air give your AC unit a rest.
- Energy-efficient light bulbs. Here is another one that applies all year. LED lights are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Ideas to Reduce Electricity Costs
Ravinia Plumbing has a variety of products designed to help you reduce electricity costs, from energy-efficient HVAC systems to Wi-Fi thermostats to smart technology. Plus, when our technicians come to your home, they can provide ideas on how you can cut your energy bill. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Visit Ravinia Plumbing today to learn more.