I am a member of Project Envolve, which is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities. I received compensation in exchange for this post about your summer energy bill. All opinions are my own. #ProjectEnvolve #GetEnvolved
It’s time for another Project Envolve mission, and our goal this month is to give you tips on how to cut your electric usage and save money on your energy bill during the hottest days of the year. As much as I love the summer season, I don’t love the way running our air conditioners drives up our expenses. Our ACs are dinosaurs, and not very efficient at all, so I used to be afraid to even open our bill. But not anymore! We’ve been using most of the energy savings tips below, and they’re helping us keep our cool all summer long. 1. Clean or change your AC filters once a month. Just like you, your air conditioner needs to breathe to function efficiently. Keep those filters maintained, and if you use a room AC (like we do), be sure you don’t place any heat-generating appliance nearby as it may interfere with the thermostat. 2. Switch out your light bulbs. We switched all of our lights out to LED bulbs because they use less electricity and last up to 20 years, but did you know they also generate less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs? Nobody needs warm bulbs heating up the room! With LED, you’ll use up to 90% less energy and save up to $80 over the bulb’s lifetime. Switch more, save more, all throughout your home. PPL Electric Utilities customers can learn more about LEDs and get instant discounts at participating stores. 3. Let it blow. Use a portable fan (or ceiling fan) to blow cooler air toward your face or feet. Ours works wonders with our kids, who love to lay in front of it and bask in the breeze. Just remember to turn fans off when you leave the room. They may cool you, but they won’t cool the room down! 4. Be a night owl. Run heavier appliances, like the oven, dishwasher and laundry machines in the evening, when the temps have started to drop. Better yet, use more energy efficient cooking methods during the summer months and let the oven rest. 5. Don’t let the sunshine in. I’m a little torn on this one. My husband always wants to keep the curtains or blinds closed during the day to keep the house cool. I’m not on board, because I don’t like the cave-like feel. The compromise? We either open the windows to let the cool air flow in, or keep the curtains closed just during the peak sun hours. (I hate to admit it, but it really does work.) 6. Get low. Hang out in the lowest part of your home. That’s where the coolest air will be, so why not watch a movie in the basement? 7. Program your thermostat. Don’t cool your home when nobody is there, and avoid turning it down too low in an effort to cool the house down more quickly. It won’t work any faster, and it may cost you more. 8. Remember those curtains I mentioned? Make sure they’re not blocking any vents! This goes for furniture too. And if you can’t rearrange around your vents, try vent deflectors. They’ll redirect the air flow around obstructions for just a few dollars. 9. Cover the cracks. Just like in the winter, cracks and gaps around doors and windows are not your friends. Warm air can seep in, so seal them up with caulking and weather stripping. (This is next for us, along with replacing 3 of our oldest windows.) 10. Take a breather and refresh with a tall, cool one made with the best fruit flavors summer has to offer. Check out these fruity drink recipes from some of my blogger friends, then sit back and put your feet up. And if anyone asks, just tell ’em you’re conserving energy. 😉 Honeyed Rhubarb Spritzer by me! Strawberry and Lime Frozen Cocktail by Kathy at A Mom’s Impression Fresh Basil Blueberry Lemonade by Emilie at Oh My Sugar High Blackberry Sage Cooler by Elizabeth at Being MVP Summer Fruit Tea by Julie at Happy Strong Home Too many tips to remember? Print out this fridge-friendly list of energy saving tips here, or pin the image below to keep it handy! (And visit PPL Electric Utilities on Pinterest for even more energy saving tips and ideas.)
How do you beat the heat in the summertime? Visit the other Project Envolve bloggers below to see how they’re staying cool this season.