Summer is approaching. That means sunshine, warm weather, outdoor gatherings and…high utility bills? Unfortunately there are bill add-ons called summer rates which charge a premium for the electricity you use during the summer months. In fact, according to the EPA, an average household in a 1,057 square foot space can spend $2,000 a year on some of their utilities, while those in an average home with 2,301 square feet of space can pay $4,000 a year. When you combine this with rising temperatures, it can often result in skyrocketing bills for both homeowners and renters.
This summer, we at Haha’s Heating & Cooling wanted to help reduce how much people spend on staying cool, so we’re posting our top tips for reducing your utility bills.
If you are keeping your heat or air on full blast while everyone is at work and school, you are basically donating your hard earned paycheck to the utility company. Considering that your central heat and air unit is one of your largest contributors to your monthly bill, think about when you do and do not need it to be on high. By replacing your current thermostat with a smart thermostat, or programming your thermostat to not work as hard while everyone is away, you are cutting down on a significant expense that you aren’t even seeing the benefit of.
In addition to programming your thermostat to work less while you are away at work, consider scheduling it to go down 4-8 degrees at night when you are least likely to notice a difference, and then turn back up 1-2 hours before you wake up.
Finally, with most newer thermostats you can now program them to go down during peak hours. Through these steps you can potentially see a savings of 1% per 8-hour period for each degree you turn your thermostat down according to the U.S. Energy Department. Even better, if you are living somewhere with a moderate spring and fall, consider turning your unit off altogether.
Did you know that your hot water heater is an energy hog? According to energy.gov heating their water accounts for 14-18% of the total utility bill. One way to drastically reduce this cost is to turn your water heater down from its default 140 degrees, to 120 degrees. You will likely not notice a difference when washing clothes, doing dishes, or anything else that requires hot water…unless you are a fan of boiling hot showers.
Heating up the water your washing machine uses accounts for 90% of the energy it takes to operate a washing machine. Using the cold water setting when doing laundry can significantly reduce how much energy it takes to do laundry.
Even when in standby mode, there is a lot of energy being pulled by coffee makers, microwaves, refrigerators, televisions, computers, and anything else plugged into electrical outlets. By keeping these unplugged when not in use, or when you go to work, you can make an impact on your bill.
If you have ceiling fans, definitely try to use them as much as possible. Why? Your air conditioning unit uses about 25% of your household’s energy. A ceiling fan may not bring down the temperature of the room, but by circulating air it can make a room feel significantly cooler. A ceiling fan also takes approximately 1/36th the energy that a central heat and air conditioner uses.
If you run appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and dryers late in the evening, or before bed, you can save money by pulling energy at the time it is its cheapest. During high peak times energy providers charge a premium for electricity, but that same energy goes on sale later in the day when there is low usage on the network.