When the heat and humidity hits, I’ll retreat to my fainting couch, in a gossamer cotton gown, like Daisy from the Great Gatsby. There I recline gracefully, one wrist resting on my fevered brow, while my other hand clutches an iced sweet tea that I sip periodically through a straw, between dramatic sighs. Okay, well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I don’t have a fainting couch or a gossamer gown, and I sure don’t have time to recline. I do my housework myself to save money. In the summer, my energy bills threaten to drain my wallet, so I spend time looking for ways to save. I’ve picked up these five tips for lowering your energy bill this summer for y’all, so you won’t collapse on your fainting couch the next time you look at your electric bill.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
Who takes a hot shower in the summer? Anyone? Anyone? I find that taking a cool shower in the evening is a great way to set up a good sleep in the summer. Turning down your water heater, a few notches can knock a few dimes off your energy bill.
For laundry, save the hot water cycle for the unmentionables, towels, and sheets. Everything else will get just as clean in cold water.
Service Your AC
A dirty filter is like a stuffy nose for your air conditioner—it can’t breathe well and must work harder to pull in, cool, and distribute air. Check your filters regularly and clean or replace them when they’re clogged with dirt and dust.
An AC unit making strange noises or producing a foul smell is a sign it’s time for a professional AC unit repair. There could be something seriously wrong with your system that is raising your energy bill.
Use the Delay Setting on Your Dishwasher
I’ll confess to y’all. I’m not an appliance manual reader. I’m more of a “Hey, what’s this button do?” type. I didn’t even notice that time-delay button on my dishwasher until it dawned on me that using energy during off-peak hours can save money. Many utility companies offer discounts for off-peak energy use. Set your dishwasher to start a few hours after you’ve gone to bed and de-select the heat dry cycle—that’s expensive!
Give the Oven a Rest
A microwave or slow cooker uses less energy and won’t add heat to your home like a conventional oven does. Keep the heat out of your house by eating cold meals (refreshing for hot days anyway) or grilling outdoors.
Much of the heat making your home uncomfortable comes from the sunshine. If you don’t have trees shading the south and west sides of your home, y’all should plant trees and shrubs to throw shade on your windows. Inside, keep blinds or drapes closed to prevent the sun from shining into your home.
Well, I guess it’s time for me to get a refill on that sweet tea! Hope these tips for lowering your summer energy bills shave a few dollars from the “expenses” side of your monthly budget!