I live in Georgia, where the summers are hot and sticky and all around just gross. Our utility bills tend to be $400+ in the summer months when it’s really hot and humid. This year, we decided to suck it up and set the thermostat a little higher than previous years. We typically set our AC to 72, but this summer we’ve gone with 76-78 instead. It has made a HUGE difference in our electric bill! I was thrilled to find that our bill over this summer was about $100 less each month than last year. That’s $400 extra bucks in savings from June-September just from a 4-6 degree change in thermostat settings!
At first, I though it would be hard to adjust, but since we started out the summer heat with a higher temperature in the home, we’ve adjusted without any problems. Check out the list below for 5 simple ways we keep our home cooling costs down.
1. Open windows and use fans. Sometimes it’s not just the higher temperatures that are uncomfortable, but the lack of air flow. Using box fans in addition to our ceiling fans really helped to keep the air moving in the house. We only set up fans in the rooms we were using, and opened windows in the morning and evening when temperatures were lower.
2. Dress appropriately. When temperatures are high, it only makes sense to dress in light clothing. Instead of wearing jeans and a tshirt, we opted for tank tops and shorts. Wearing sandals or flip flops instead of socks and tennis shoes also made a big difference.
3. Program the thermostat. We set our thermostat for the AC to kick on around noon to 5:00, during the hottest part of the day. There’s no reason to have the AC running at 78 degrees at 2:00 in the morning when we’re all sleeping!
4. Turn off the AC. If we were planning to be gone all day, we set the thermostat to 82 degrees. It’s ridiculous to cool the house to 78 when no one is at home. Setting the air to 82 kept the house at a pleasant temperature without overworking the system, and it was pretty easy to cool the house a few degrees by turning the air back on once we got home. I do not suggest turning the air off completely while your gone, however. Trying to cool your house down from 90 degrees takes hours and you end up spending more because the system runs for hours to try and bring the temperature back down.
5. Change the air filter. Having a clean filter helps to keep your system running more efficiently. Your AC cannot work as effectively if the filter is covered in dust. Replacement filters are only a few dollars and can be changed out in a matter of minutes.
How do you cut costs on your electric bill during the hot summer months? Share your tips below!