The way the economy has cooled down while climates are heating up will have many residents scrambling to cut costs on their summer energy bills. The combination of a rough economy and increasingly warm temperatures is a perfect storm for financial hardship. Thankfully, the savvy homeowner or renter can find ways to minimize energy consumption and make the most of the energy they do use.
The solution is not one of nickel-and-diming – though small cuts everywhere will certainly help – but a focus on some key items that are most responsible for inflated energy cost.
Compare Energy Prices
The most obvious solution to reduce energy costs is to compare energy prices and switch to a less-expensive provider. Since the energy industry has essentially become deregulated, the choice of providers of electricity lies solely in the hands of the consumer. Taking the simple step to compare energy prices may realize the most significant savings of all the steps listed henceforth. Furthermore, in an effort to attract new business during the hot summer months, some companies will offer great incentives for customers who switch over from a competing provider. It is possible, with the same electricity usage but a different electric company, to reduce cost.
Cut back on the A/C
There is no single product or item that contributes to soaring energy prices in the summer months than the air conditioner. The cruel fact is that, of all the elements contributing to the cost to stay comfortable, the air conditioner is one of the easiest to control. Reducing air conditioner expense by using it responsibly and efficiently will reflect a significant savings on an electric bill. Programmable thermostats have come a long way, and are a smart way for consumers to set clear limits on usage without having to fret over changes as the exterior temperature fluctuates. Before establishing conservative, set schedule within which the air conditioner will run, homeowners should have they unit cleaned and updated with regular maintenance so that it is running an optimal levels.
Use Thermal Drapes
As far as the interior of the home is concerned, investing in quality thermal drapes and ensuring that all the seals on windows and doors are in peak condition can help to lower costs. Drapes can serve as an excellent insulator in both summer and winter, keeping warm air in or keeping the hot sun out. Direct sunlight can heat a room up quickly, forcing the air conditioner to work hard. A good seal on windows and doors further bolsters the effectiveness of air conditioners because the cool air being generated will remain in the residence. Losing cool air through bad seals in the home’s interior will force an air conditioning unit to pump harder to keep up.
One final tip to lowering energy costs is to utilize any outdoor living space available and spend as much time outside as possible. When indoors for an extended period of time, the body becomes acclimated to the temperature of its surroundings. For this reason, homeowners who like to feel “cool” will need to continually lower the temperature of their thermostat as they get used to the temperature. Furthermore, the use of appliances and electronics in the home will contribute to the cost of the continually running air conditioner.