Jun
04
2014

10 Ways to Lower Your Power Bill This Summer

by Kimberlee Stokes Affiliate Link Disclosure B

10 Ways to Lower Your Power Bill This Summer - The Peaceful Mom
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I love the carefree days of summer, but I don’t love paying the summer power bills! I have found that if I take a few small actions I can save 20-30% on our overall bill, which leaves more money for fun!

 

Week In Photos-Thermostat 79

Set It and Forget It

It’s tempting to adjust your thermostat throughout the day, but leaving it set on one temperature (78 degrees is best) saves energy. Your air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature as it does to cool a warm house.

 

Use Fans

Ceiling fans and area fans cost much less to operate than air conditioning units and can help you to feel much cooler. The fans aren’t actually cooling the room though, just moving air around, so save energy by turning them off when you leave the room.

 

Close the Blinds

It may seem like a no-brainer but keeping the sun out of your house will keep it cooler. Open the blinds on windows where the sun is least bright and adjust them during the day as the sun moves over your house.

 

Hang Your Clothes

One of the biggest energy drains in your home after your a/c is your clothes dryer. Purchase a drying rack or hang your clothes outside to save electricity. I literally save $20 – $30 a month just by taking this step alone.

 

Time Your Washing

It is more energy efficient to wash a full (not over-full) load of laundry. If you need one item clean, consider washing it by hand.

 

dishwasher

Skip the Dry Cycle

You should always wait to use your dishwasher until it is full as well. Running the dishwasher half-full uses the same amount of energy but washes half the dishes. You can save even more by skipping the drying cycle and letting your dishes air dry.

 

Change Your Filter

Keeping your air conditioning unit clean helps it to run more efficiently as well as preventing wear and tear leading to a needed replacement. Change your filter at least once a month in the summer to save electricity and your AC unit.

 

Insulate

Add extra insulation such as weather stripping around windows and doors, and check your attic to see if insulation needs to be increased. Keeping the heat out enables your house to stay cooler and your air conditioning to work less.

 

Unplug

Many items around the house are draining power just by being plugged in.  10%-15% of home energy use results from these phantom energy drainers. Unplug the toaster, coffee maker, cell phone charger and other electric sucking items when not in use. You can also plug televisions, dvd players and stereos into a power strip and turn them off easily when not in use.

 

Watch Your Doors

If you have children going in and out of your house keep an eye on your exterior doors to make sure they are being completely shut. You can also close interior doors and close vents in rooms that are unused or which get too cold so that air flows to warmer rooms.

 

In addition to these ideas, you may also want to have your local power company do an energy audit to find hidden energy drains.

 

How do you keep your power bill lower in the summer? Leave a comment.

 

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  • Joni Graeff

    Try using mylar emergency blankets (space blankets) over your windows. It makes a HUGE difference to the amount of heat that comes in!

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee Stokes

      That is a brilliant idea Joni! Thanks!

      • Suzanne B

        Those solar blankets have done wonders in our front, west facing windows…but watch out when purchasing! I bought three at Walmart and the brand they have now isn’t transparent! I returned two, but I’d sure love to know the brand name of the ones I’ve used before so we could still see out!

        • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee Stokes

          That would be important- ha!

  • Meredith Seiser

    I can put a slow cooker or portable toaster oven out side on a hot day to keep the house cooler. Just keep a timer with you in the house.

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee Stokes

      Great tip Meredith – thanks!

  • Molly

    I also recently read a blog that used an electric roaster oven to bake a cake outside!

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee Stokes

      That’s crazy Molly!

      • joyce

        i have done this and it is a great idea!!!!!!!!

  • Christal White

    I moved my refrigerator away from the stove. my home was set up where my fridge was next to the stove. The extra heat coming off of my stove and oven caused not only my fridge to over work itself, but it also caused a definite temperature variation in it which was not good for my milk, eggs, meats…(ect) Moving this across the room was the biggest and smartest thing I have ever done. It saved me about $20 a month on my electricity bill.

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee Stokes

      Great idea Christal – thanks!

  • http://alittleyellowranch.wordpress.com/ stacey

    My tip takes the crock pot idea a bit further. I use a Wonderbag to cook meals. (You can click here to learn more.) Here’s how it works: you boil your meat, beans, whatever, for roughly 15 minutes on the stove, and then you wrap the pot in the Wonderbag and leave it there for a few hours, or all day. The food thoroughly cooks, never over cooks. And you are cooking without electricity or gas! I read about something similar in the More with Less cookbook – folks in Indonesia and Africa do this but use thick blankets to wrap the pot. Pretty cool!!

    • http://thepeacefulmom.com Kimberlee Stokes

      That is an awesome idea Stacey – thanks!

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