Utility bill higher than expected? It happens from time to time. While remaining cool and comfortable in the hottest parts of summer (or warm and toasty in the dead of winter) is key, you can still do so while being energy efficient.
Check out our tips to see how much you can save on next month’s utility bills.
Learn Your Thermostat
Yes, your digital thermostat might be a pain to figure out, but if you can create a schedule for your AC or heat, you could be saving some cash. The US Department of Energy states that you can save up to 10% annually by creating a schedule and adjusting the temperature 7-10 degrees when you are not in the home. You can read more about scheduling your thermostat and settings on the Houselogic Blog.
If you don’t have a digital thermostat, set alarms on your phone and make sure you are adjusting when leaving the house.
Change Your Air Filters
We are all a little more aware of the air quality and cleanliness of our homes this year. Changing your air filters every month will help purify the air and help your heating and air conditioning unit run more efficiently. You can see an average of 15% savings on your energy bills when you have a clean air filter in place.
Home air filters can cost between $6-$10 a piece or even less when you buy them in bulk.
Call Your Provider
Call your provider and ask if there are any initiatives or promotions you can enroll in. A simple way to save and is offered by most providers is to set up automatic payments with a checking account.
Are you a long time customer? You might have a deposit sitting in your account that you have forgotten about. If you have established consistent on-time payments, you may be able to use your deposit toward your bill this summer.
Switch to Window Units
Cooling or heating an entire house when you really only use a few rooms?
Look for sales on AC units, borrow from a friend who isn’t using one, or even hop on Facebook marketplace or Craigslist to find a second-hand unit.
Typically window units use far less energy than central air, especially if your central air unit is outdated. In the winter, consider throwing on a sweatshirt or blanket instead of cranking the heat on the whole house!
Keep Doors Closed
This is one of the easiest energy-saving tips. Your air conditioner works harder to cool large spaces, keeping rooms closed off will equalize the temperature in your home.
Use High Energy Appliances at Night Instead
Did you know you pay more for energy during peak hours? By doing laundry or running the dishwasher in the early morning or late evening you can save money on energy bills at all times of the year.
Rather than roasting a chicken for hours, enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables of summer without using a ton of energy instead. Slice open a watermelon, make a fresh salad, or fire up the grill for an energy-efficient healthy meal.
Set out foods that can be kept at room temperature for easy grab and go snacks without opening the fridge each time. Some ideas are apples, peaches, clementines, cherry tomatoes, pretzels and granola bars.
Talk to Your Family About Energy
While saving money is always the goal, think about what your family can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Get the family involved and log into your energy provider’s website. You can typically see graphs of your energy usage. Make it fun by trying to “beat” last month’s energy usage.
Some energy providers tell you how your energy usage ranks compared to the community. See if your family can be among the most energy-efficient in the neighborhood!
Change Your Beauty Routine
While this might be a small change, but skipping a 40-minute blow-dry every day could save you some on your energy bills each week.
Not only do blow dryers, irons and curlers burn energy, they also heat up the house when you are trying to keep it cool. Let your natural hair shine this summer and opt for heat-free styling for the whole family.
Turn the air to the highest comfortable setting (70-75º is recommended) and head outside. Summer only comes once a year, and there is nothing wrong with embracing the heat and loading up on vitamin D from the sun.
While social distancing has limited some summer activities, you can still create your own little oasis in your backyard. Swing by your favorite store and grab items like a small inflatable pool, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, balls, and water toys to bring the fun to your family.
Don’t forget to grab sunscreen and bug repellent!
Small Changes for Big Savings
If your bills have gotten out of hand, your best bet is to call your provider and let them know your situation. Get on track by either setting up a payment plan or using Instacash to get a $250 advance instantly to your account to cover the bill.
Instacash is free to use and you can pay the advance back from your next paycheck.
Don’t let your energy bills become a burden, challenge yourself to make the adjustments, become more energy aware, and save some money in the process.
Want to save year-round? Check out our 9 ways to save on energy as it gets colder article.