Sunny days are ahead of us as we swim into June. From sitting on the poolside to being sprawled out next to the air conditioner, we all find ways to beat the heat. But just because the temperatures are rising, doesn’t mean your electric bill has to too. Here are some energy saving tips to help you make the most out of your utilities.
- Set Your Thermostat Efficiently
It’s tempting to turn up the AC on the coldest setting possible after being out on a glaring hot day, but it might not be the best option in the long run. It’s ideal to keep the temperature at 78°F according to the Department of Energy. This can end up helping you save up to 10% in energy costs! If it still feels too warm, you can lower the temperature to what’s comfortable for you, while keeping in mind that the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the more you will save. Before you leave your home, you can either turn down the AC or turn it off altogether. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it so it’s warm when you’re not there but cool by the time you arrive.
- Open & Close Windows Wisely
If you live in an area where the temperature drops at night, open up your windows to allow the cool air to naturally ventilate throughout your house. Once you switch the air conditioner back on, make sure to close those windows. You don’t want that hard earned cool air to sneak out on you. To ensure there aren’t any leaks from your windows or doors, you can seal it up by insulating your home. Although sunlight can brighten up a room, it can also heat up your home. Try bringing down the blinds on the hottest part of the day, especially on the southern and western facing windows as that brings in the most heat.
- Fan it out
Fans can be an inexpensive way to help you stay cool throughout the summer. If you decided to solely just use a fan for a month for 24 hours, it would only end up costing $5. You can also use a ceiling fan in conjunction with your AC as it can allow you to raise the thermostat 4 degrees without feeling much of a difference in comfort. Just remember to turn off your portable or ceiling fans when you leave the room. Fans work to cool us down and not the surrounding air with the wind chill effect.
- Avoid the Oven & Grill Up the Barbecue
Although we all love fresh baked cookies and hot meals off the oven, it can end up bringing extra heat. Avoid using any of the hot appliances to refrain from your AC working extra hard. You can opt for the microwave or the slow cooker as those usually produce less heat. Better yet, you can take your cooking outside on the grill while enjoying the weather outdoors.
- Wash with Cold Water
From being out in the pool or on the beach, we can end up finding ourselves doing more laundry from washing up several bathing suits and towels. When it comes time to take on that laundry load, try to wash with cold water instead of hot. Around 90% of the washing machine’s energy is towards heating up the water. Plus, the machine itself and dryers generate heat. With warmer temperatures outside, you can hang up your clothes to dry. You can also apply this with dishes and even your own showers by choosing to use colder water.
- Take Time to Unplug
Any electronic device whether it’s big or small can generate both heat and energy. Make sure to unplug any gadgets you’re not using, including chargers that aren’t plugged into a phone or laptop. Make the most of the long summer days by either spending more time outdoors or limiting your artificial lighting. You also can swap out your incandescent light bulbs to LED lights. These lights run much cooler, use less energy and end up lasting longer than other light bulbs.
- Stay Up to Date with Your AC
Air conditioners run best when you complete some regular maintenance work. You don’t want to end up paying more for it to only work poorly. Some basic work you can do on your own without a technician can be vacuuming out the air vents. If you want to upgrade to a new cooling system, look for those that are Energy Star certified. It uses 10% less energy and can cost around $75 less per year to run.
To continue saving on energy all year round, City Power and Gas can help you make the switch. Not only do we try to deliver the best rates and energy plans, but we do so by going green.