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12 Simple Ways to Reduce Energy and Save Money in the Summer

Ways to Reduce Energy and Save Money in the SummerSummer time is a big energy-using season for a lot of us, especially in hot Texas. We run our air conditioners a lot more, which drives up our electric bill. If you’re like our family, you look for ways to use less energy and save some money during the summer.

Here are some practices I use that might help.

1. Set your thermostat as high as you comfortably can – Instead of 75, try 76 or 77. If your thermostat is programmable, set it for 85 degrees when you’re gone. You’ll be surprised how much you save from just a few degrees.

2. Keep furniture away from air vents – Make sure there is plenty of space around the vents for air to get through, otherwise you’re just cooling the underside of your sofa.

3. Perform regular air conditioner maintenance – Clean out or replace your filters so all the air gets through. If you have central air, it’s worth the cost to have an HVAC professional give it a once-over.

4. Use more fans – Overhead, ceiling, and window fans are low-energy ways to cool off a home during most days. Run your attic fan with your windows open to get air circulating.

5. Keep the blinds closed – Less sun means less heat. Pretty simple.

6. Use a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill – These devices use less energy than your traditional oven. Plus everyone loves grilling.

7. Run appliances at night – Power grids are taxed during the summer, so use your big appliances at night during non-peak hours. Most utility companies charge less for electricity used during the low usage times.

8. Unplug some electronics – Most electronic devices use some power even when they aren’t turned on. If you’re going away for a night or more, unplug your television, computer, sound system, etc.

9. Use your pool filter less – You’ll probably find that your pool filtration system doesn’t need to run every 15 minutes to keep your pool clean. Increase the length of time between cleanings and observe your pool. Set the filter to run just enough.

10. Wash in cold water and line dry – Don’t wash in hot unless you absolutely have to, and skip the dryer for a season; line dried clothing smells nice anyway.

11. Fill up your fridge and freezer – A full refrigerator and freezer is cheaper to run because there is less air that needs to be cooled. Once the contents reach a cold temperature, they don’t lose their heat as quickly as the air (which also escapes).

12. Spend hot days somewhere else – Instead of lounging around in the air conditioning on a superhot day, go somewhere public that would be cooling their space anyway, like the movies or a museum.

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