Tips for saving money on summer electric bills

Tips for saving money on summer electric bills

The Dept. of Energy offers the following strategies to stay cool while keeping utility bills down during hot Gulf Coast summers .• Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows during the day.
• The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
• Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting when you return home.
• Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you first turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster.
• Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
• When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove heat and humidity from your home. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
• Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
• Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
• Vacuum your air intake vents regularly to remove any dust buildup.
• Consider lighting options that operate at cooler temperatures.
• Wash full loads of dishes and clothes for better efficiency.
• Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
• Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows.
• Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home. Set your water heater at 120 degrees.
• Ceiling fans, exhaust fans, and AC unit fans should be turned off in the cooler parts of the day.
• Thermostats should be set at 78 degrees or no more than 20 degrees below the outdoor temperature.
• Leave space in between food in the fridge to prevent interior air vent blockages and open fit or short periods.
• Operate dryers and dishwashers at night on hot days and let dishes air dry.
• Wash clothes in cold water using a high spin cycle and use the dishwasher only when it’s full.
• Avoid using major appliances between 2 and 8 p.m.