When summer arrives, higher outdoor temperatures means higher electricity bills to keep the AC running to keep the home cool. But there are things you can do to keep those electricity costs manageable. Here are a few.

  1. Keep the thermostat set a few degrees warmer. Just one or two degrees can make a huge difference in your electric bill. Consider setting the thermostat a little higher when you sleep, or when you are out of the house.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat. Set it up, and you don’t have to worry about adjusting the temperature when you go to bed or leave the house. Make sure it is a Wi-Fi thermostat, so you can make adjustments from your phone when you are away.
  3. Invest in EnergyStar appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers that use less energy. They may cost a little more initially, but they will save money in the long run.
  4. Make sure your house is insulated properly. Make sure there are no cracks in doorways or windows that let hot air in. Caulk or seal those cracks.
  5. Use ceiling fans to cool the rooms.
  6. Open windows to let fresh air in when it is not so hot outside.
  7. Keep shades and drapes drawn during the day to prevent the hot sun from heating your room.
  8. Plant shady trees on the west and south sides of your home to block out the sun and cut down on utility costs.
  9. Turn off electronics and appliances when they are not in use.
  10. Turn off lights when you are not in the room. When you are in the room, use energy efficient LED bulbs. They may cost more initially, but they use less energy and last much longer than traditional incandescent lights.
  11. Grill. You save the energy you would use if you cooked in the oven. Plus, when you are outside you won’t be using lights, appliances, and electronics in the house.
  12. When you do cook inside, note that microwaves and pressure cookers use less electricity than stoves and ovens.
  13. Full loads. Save energy by only washing full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
  14. When the clothes are clean, consider hanging the clothes out to dry rather than using a dryer.