5 ways to save on your electricity bill this summer
Summer is finally here in full force. But, as temperatures start to climb, so can your electric bill. It doesn’t help that Georgia ranks number four in the country for the highest utility costs, averaging $438 per month. However, there are simple ways you can save on your electricity bill—without sacrificing your comfort. Here are five things you can do to start saving on your power bill today.
1. Raise your thermostat’s temperature
While you’re at home, set your thermostat to a high (but comfortable) temperature to keep you cool. When you leave or if you’re asleep, you can increase the temperature by just a couple degrees. Raising your thermostat’s temperature can save at least 10% per year. The smaller the temperature difference between outside and inside, the lower your overall power bill will be. Don’t set your thermostat to a drastically lower temperature. Your home won’t cool quicker, and it could result in a higher electricity bill.
2. Switch to a programmable thermostat
More people have switched to programmable thermostats and for good reasons—they maintain a consistent temperature throughout your house, keep your home energy efficient, and save money. According to a study by Nest, using a programmable thermostat saves almost 15% in cooling costs. Also, a huge benefit is that they allow you to set schedules, so you spend less time adjusting the thermostat when you leave your home or before you go to bed.
3. Clean your air conditioning vent and unit
A clean air conditioning unit is more effective than a dirty one. If you’re reading this and can’t remember the last time you cleaned your a/c unit, it’s probably time you should. Filters, coils, and fins should be maintained to help a unit run efficiently and properly. Ideally, your a/c unit should be serviced at least once or twice per year. But, filters should be changed frequently—replacing a dirty filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15%. Most HVAC companies recommend changing your air filter every 90 days. That can change based on your location, if you have pets, and your equipment’s age.
4. Turn on the ceiling fan
This seems obvious, but use the ceiling fan to your advantage. While ceiling fans don’t cool a room down, they create wind that circulates throughout the room, thus cooling you off. During the summer, your ceiling fan should rotate counterclockwise, so cool air is pushed down. In the winter, your ceiling fan should rotate clockwise, so hot air rises.
Your ceiling fan’s rotation also depends on the room. For example, if you have vaulted ceilings, it’s best to leave the fan rotating counterclockwise year-round. In dining rooms, allow your fan to turn clockwise on a medium or low speed to avoid cooling your food too quickly. You’ll still have air circulation, but it won’t be as intense. If your fan is not rotating the way it should, turn your fan off and flip the direction switch. When you’re not in the room, turn your fan off so you aren’t wasting power.
5. Use electricity during off-peak hours
Companies charge more for electricity during peak hours when the demand for it is greater. You can reduce the cost of your electricity bill by limiting energy use to early in the morning or late at night. You’ll help reduce the load on power grids and save money. From June through September, 4 pm-9 pm are considered peak hours.
Despite the sweltering heat, it’s possible to cool your home without foregoing your comfort—or your wallet. This summer, try these tips and watch the dollars drop off of your power bill. Need a place to store your savings? Put your money to work with a high-yield CD or Money Market account!