Ways to Save Money on Your Utilities

The warmer weather is here. That means grilling out, parties by the pool, and turning on your air conditioner so you don’t melt in the summer heat.

Warmer weather also means higher utility bills, especially with the AC running almost non-stop. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your utilities this summer. Take a look at all the ways you can save money and energy.

  • Bump up your thermostat a few degrees. If you set it to 74 in the summer, try 76. If you usually prefer 72, try 74. Just a couple of degrees can make a big impact on your utilities without sacrificing comfort.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. The newer thermostats give you more control and let you know exactly what temperature it is in your home. You can even try a smart thermostat that lets you control your settings from your phone.
  • Change your air conditioner filter regularly. You should check it every 30 days and change it at least every 90 days. A dirty, clogged filter doesn’t let air pass through efficiently meaning your AC is working harder and using more energy.
  • Use your ceiling fans. Your fans will help circulate the air helping you feel cooler at a higher temperature and giving your air conditioner a break.
  • Seal the cracks and crevices around doors and windows to keep warm air out. You may also want to insulate your electrical outlets as those can allow warm air to seep into your home, too.
  • Change how you do laundry for the summer. Wash clothes in cold water and dry them outside on the line. Using less hot water and giving your dryer a break will save a lot of money over the course of the summer.
  • Cook differently in the summer. Prepare more cold salads which will help keep you cool and turn off the oven. You can also grill, use a toaster oven, or cook with the microwave. The oven uses a lot of energy and warms your home up, making the AC work harder.
  • Switch out your standard light bulbs for CFLs or LEDs. They’re more expensive at first but because they use less energy, they don’t have to be replaced as often and your utility bill will go down.
  • Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Water heaters are often set to 140 – by turning it down 20 degrees and insulating it so it doesn’t lose heat, you can save a few dollars each month.
  • Upgrade appliances and other electric items to Energy Star options. When you see the Energy Star emblem, you know you’re getting a more energy efficient product, often at the same price as a non-Energy Star item.

Even if you can’t do everything on this list, making even a few small changes can add up to big savings. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort this summer to lower your utility bills. Do what you can and you’ll be surprised at how much you save over time.