6 Tips to Lower Your Energy Bill During Summer
For many of us, hot summer months usually mean trips to the beach, state fairs, hiking with friends, or outdoor get togethers. But there’s one summer event you surely won’t enjoy—higher energy demand resulting in price hikes. As the temperatures begin to soar, many consumers look for ways to stay cool such as setting their air conditioners on full blast. The good news is, there are many low-cost alternatives to reduce your energy usage.
1) Invest in heat-blocking curtains
During the summer, 76% of sunlight that enters through your window becomes heat. If you have windows receiving direct sunlight, investing in a heat-blocking curtain is a good idea. Having this type of window treatment can prevent heat gain. To maximize savings, the curtain should be installed as close to the windows as possible and fall onto a windowsill. The curtains should be sealed at both sides and overlapped in the center. Medium-colored fabrics with white-plastic backings can reduce up to 33% of heat. Then open up the curtains at night to let in cool air!
2) Switch to energy efficient lighting
Lights make up around 10% of home electricity costs. If you are still using traditional incandescents, the costs could double. Switching to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) could help you save up to 80% of energy. Another advantage of using these options is their ability to give off less heat, which can help in lowering your cooling costs. Traditional bulbs waste up to 90% of energy by emitting heat. CFLs and LEDs also last longer so you don’t need to replace as much.
3) Clean your air conditioner
Constant use of the A/C on a hot summer season can add a lot to your utility bill. More so, dirty filters increase the energy required to power the unit. To ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner, you need to clean or replace its dirty, clogged filter. Doing so can decrease energy consumption by up to 15%. If the unit hasn’t been cleaned for years, you should consider having a professional do maintenance work. Testing for refrigerant leaks, tightness of connections and wear are also important to increase efficiency. A cleaner A/C can bring more savings.
4) Enjoy the summer outdoors
When the temperatures peak, air conditioners need to work twice as hard too. Why not enjoy the time outdoors and conserve the energy your A/C will use? Feel the summer wind and get some exercise by going for a swim. If you have access to a nearby pool, lake, or beach, you’re sure to cool down quickly! Just remember to slather on your sunscreen.
5) Avoid using appliances on peak hours
All energy is not priced equally and may vary by supplier. Peak demand charges, which are often overlooked, account for 30% to 70% of your electric bill. A general rule of thumb is, electricity used during the peak hours will be more expensive. To lower your bill, you need to manage your energy habits under TOU (Time of Use) rates. The washer, dryer, and dishwasher are the common appliances used by people during peak hours. You can save by air drying the dishes, using cooler water when washing, or using them after peak hours.
6) Best time to go solar
Why not take advantage of the abundant sunshine? You don’t have to sweat over increasing electricity costs this summer once you go solar. Rooftop panels provide the highest savings during this season because of the extra daylight hours. In fact, homeowners can get up to 20% savings on their utility bills. Generating your own electricity through solar panels also reduces your carbon footprint and become a role model to your neighbors.
To learn more about solar and how much you can save, fill out our free Sun Analysis form below. At Sun Path Electric, we help clients understand the benefits of adding solar panels to their home. We also evaluate homes to determine whether they qualify for solar incentives. Fill our the form today while it is 100% free!