BEATING THE SUMMER HEAT
How to Cut the Cost of Electricity this Season
How did you survive the heat wave last week? No one was ready to turn on the A/C yet. We weren’t even in the month of June. We always expect to get that short break between winter and summer on our energy bills. It gives us time to recover from the winter gas bills. But what we do know is we live in Michigan and the weather can be unpredictable to say the least. So, how can we still save money when it becomes a necessity to use the air conditioner so early in the season?
When it comes to increasing temperatures this summer, electricity bills for your home can skyrocket and make you think twice before turning on the air conditioning. While home improvements can be effective and make a home more energy efficient, sometimes that is just not an option. Conservation then becomes essential. Learning simple tips to help conserve energy in your house will help to keep the bill low and let you use more of your money for what you want.
Know Your Bill
Before planning how to cut down the electricity bill, it is important that you understand your bill. Typically, electric bills are based on monthly usage. However, some customers are on a budget billing system which takes the average of expected usage for a customer based on their previous years and then charges a flat rate monthly no matter what actual energy was used. This makes the bill the same every month. Therefore, you won't feel any difference in your pocket during the hot summer months when you turn on the air. However, this plan will actually harm your wallet if you use less than expected.
The best policy is to go on a usage-based bill that will charge you for your actual energy used. A usage based bill also allows you to calculate how much one kilowatt of power costs you. All you need to do is take your bill due and divide it by the number of kilowatts you used in the billing period. This will help you to determine how much your next bill will be before you are charged.
When it comes to conserving energy, some things you'll need to be conscious of are:
- Ventilation System
Keeping vents clean and open help to allow A/C or heating to spread throughout the home using less energy. Change air-filters regularly. It will help keep the air in your home clean and help the A/C to run smoothly.
Make sure to only use 75% of the barrel when putting clothes into the washing machine. The laundry load needs room to move; clothing can be left unclean if the barrel is too full and force you to do another wash on the same laundry. Also, stop using heat when drying your clothes. The heat greatly increases the use of energy when drying your clothes and is not necessary.
Keeping electronics on stand-by will constantly run up your electricity bill even when they are not in use. Make sure to turn off and/or unplug your electronics when they're not in use so that you're not being charged for wasted energy.
Look into recipes that require less time with the oven so that you don't have to keep the heat on for so long. This also stops from overheating your house during the hot summer months. Consider using a crock pot and cooking food slowly and use considerably less energy.
Make the switch to using fluorescent light bulbs to save big on your electric bill. Also, as always, turn off any lights that aren't being used. Leaving lights on takes a big hit on your bill and can have a big impact.
- Find Where all the Energy is Going
Check your home for any open cracks or leaks that can be shooting all the energy outside. Caulking any cracks and weather stripping your doors and windows will keep the temperature controlled and decrease energy usage. Also, don’t cool empty rooms. Close doors and vents in rooms that are unused so that your air goes to the areas in your home it is needed.
Another option to addressing energy efficiency is remodeling, if affordable. Some variables to consider when remodeling a home are:
- Space heaters and coolers
- Water heaters
- Windows, doors, skylights
Even if you cannot afford all the items that would help to make your home energy efficient, saving for just one big purchase can help to cut down monthly costs for running a home. Make sure to plan ahead for any changes you want to make to your home and communicate with any third-party builder to make sure everyone is on the same page. You don't want to be spending hundreds of dollars and not get your money's worth.
Again, here at Timothy Roberts & Associates LLC, we work with you in mind. We hope that this information has been helpful to you. Share it with your family and friends. Everyone can use solid information to assist with financial matters. As always we encourage you to check out our website at www.timothyrobertslls.com. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. Finally, make sure to stay tuned for the next blog post on Wednesday.
Your Interest is our Only Interest!