Summer is here, and with the increased temperatures come increased energy costs. It’s been estimated that within the last decade, the average electrical bill for homeowners across the country has risen to over $400 during the summer months. However, just because you’re going be running you’re AC more doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your home more energy-efficient. If you want to have fun in the sun without worrying about skyrocketing energy expenses, keep reading for the top five ways to lower your electrical bill this summer, courtesy of our skilled electricians at CMC Electric.
5 Ways to Cut Summer Energy Costs:
- Let Your Air Conditioner Run When You Leave the House: We know this might sound like the exact opposite of what you should do when trying to save money, but letting your air conditioner run at a consistent temperature when you leave for the day can actually prove to be cost-efficient in the long run. Consider that if you come home during a heatwave, the first thing you are likely to do is crank your AC as low as it will go, so it will cool down your house as fast as possible. This in turn is likely to overexert your air conditioner, forcing it to work harder than it should and drive your energy bills up in the process. However, by leaving your AC at a stable 72 degrees on hot days, you will be able to come home to a comfortable house without wasting unnecessary cooling power. It also helps if you adjust your thermostat when you leave for the day, which brings us to…
- Install a Smart Thermostat: The ideal summer thermostat setting for most homes is an elevated 78 degrees. This will help balance out your rising AC costs and maintain consistent temperatures throughout your home. You can save even more though by installing a smart thermostat, which you may actually be able to connect to your HVAC equipment as part of your larger smart home system. While your thermostat should remain around 78 for most of the summer, you may actually want to raise it to 80-82 when you turn your AC on and leave for the day. A smart thermostat will be able to automatically make these changes, and even learn your home comfort needs to customize your ideal temperature settings for you.
- Use Ceiling Fans Whenever Possible: Believe it or not, a well-placed ceiling fan can actually lower a room’s temperature by 2-3 degrees when working in conjunction with your air conditioner. However, in addition to taking some pressure off your AC unit, ceiling fans are also a great way to save money when you can go without air conditioning. By turning your fans on during temperature summer days or cool summer nights, you will be able to achieve a level of airflow in a given room you actually can’t with your air conditioner, while staying comfortable for a fraction of the price it costs to operate your AC unit.
- Keep Lighting Low: Summertime is prime time for you to be out in your yard entertaining, meaning you are going to want to use your landscape lighting frequently. However, keeping indoor lighting to a minimum on those hot summer days can go a long way to keeping your electricity costs low. Consider using recessed lighting to only generate the amount of light you need in a given room, and turn off all lights when you leave a room or go to sleep for the night. You should also use energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, which can help make your electricity bill as much as ten times lower.
- Schedule an Electrical Inspection at the Beginning of Summer: The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money on an electrical repair over the summer, so consider calling for a professional electrical inspection before summer begins. This will prevent you from having to rely on an unstable generator because of a wiring issue, or deal with an electrical panel problem because of a short circuit in your outlet. Bottom line: you will have more peace of mind knowing your electrical system is safe and in no need of repairs when you schedule an inspection.