Wednesday, July 16, 2014
7 Ways to Save Money On Your Electrical Bill and Stay Cool
I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Vegas we are consistently over 100°F. I was born and raised in Arizona, so the super hot temps are nothing new to me. But what is new to me is having to pay the electrical bill during these hot summer months! haha With the temps climbing so high, electrical bills tend to follow. Here are some helpful tips to help you save money on your electrical bill while staying cool too.
Turn off unused heat producing electronics/lights: Have you ever been using your laptop and felt your legs burning up? Computers and other large electronics put off a TON of heat. Be sure to turn them off when not in use. Our tv is a big culprit when it comes to producing heat. Just walking by it I can feel the heat radiating from it. Lights are also a big heat source. Turn off lights when you leave the room and don’t turn them on if you have adequate sunlight. This can also apply to appliances – try not to run the oven if you don’t have to (use a crockpot or grill outside) and save the dishwasher for nighttime when it’s cooler.
Close the blinds or make curtains: I’ve lived in the desert my whole life and have gotten very used to this one. Close the blinds or curtains well before the sun hits that window. Once the sun is on the window it heats the glass and transfers that heat inside. If you can afford it, install solar shades on the outside and stop the heat before it reaches and heats up the window. The more heat you can stop from entering your home, the less you’ll have to run your AC. Black out curtains are also a great way to block out the heat and don’t have to be super expensive. I made black out lined curtains from a thrifted sheet and it only cost me about $10! Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a cave, but I totally make up for it in the winter when I flood my house with sunlight and warmth
Open the window at night: If it’s cool enough where you live, try opening the windows at night and even putting a box fan in the window to blow in the cool air. I love doing this because the night air is so refreshing and I’m usually able to cool the house enough over night that I don’t have to turn the AC on. I was able to hold off turning our AC on until May this year – we live in Vegas so that’s pretty good. You want to check the forecast and make sure that the low will be at least 2 degrees cooler than you’d like it in your house. I’ve just found that’s it’s always about 2 degrees warmer in the house than the stated temperature outside. Then close the windows in the morning before the temp begins to rise.
Use fans: Get a couple stand up fans for around the house. Blowing air helps to keep you cool and takes less energy than your AC unit. Turn off fans when you are done in that room as they don’t actually lower the temperature in the room, only the perceived temperature. So if no one is in the room, it doesn’t need to be on. You can even get creative and place a bowl of ice in front of the fan for an even cooler sensation.
Use a swamp cooler: Go one step further and consider using a swamp cooler. I know a couple people who do this here in Vegas and they are very comfortable with just this until about July when temps get well into the 100’s on a consistent basis and summer storms bring humidity. This is a picture my friend let me use. On the left is what her projected monthly bill would be while running her swamp cooler and on the right is one week after they finally turned on their AC!! Over $120 difference!!
Dress like it’s summer: Now I’m not endorsing nudity or anything like that, but don’t hangout in sweatpants and complain when that it’s hot and blast the AC. haha. Transition to seasonally appropriate attire to avoid over running your AC.
Dry clothes outside: Instead of using electricity/gas to run your dryer (and heat up the house), find a nice hanging rack to hang clothes out in the heat. Take advantage of mother nature’s fiery wrath and dry clothes quickly! I got mine at Ikea, but it is very similar to this Wire World Vulcano Dryer
So there you go. My tips for staying cool and saving money on your electricity bill this summer. I hope they help you.
What is your favorite way to stay cool in the summer?