The summer months are often the time of year when homeowners see their highest electric bills and should focus attention on ways to save electricity. Keeping your home cool during the summer heat can really have an impact on how much you will pay for this variable expense. While it may be unpractical to completely shut off your central air conditioning unit (if you have one), there are a few easy ways to save money during the heat of summer.
Here are 3 quick tips on ways to save electricity this summer.
1. Ceiling Fans
Using ceiling fans to cool your home is one of the easiest ways to save electricity during the warm summer months. It may surprise you, but ceiling fans use very little energy, about the same amount as a light bulb.
For example, running a 36″ ceiling fan 24 hours per day for an entire month would cost less than $6. By turning up the thermostat and installing ceiling fans, a homeowner can save a couple hundred dollars per year in energy costs. That savings more than compensates for the cost of installing a new fan ($50 – $100). The use of ceiling fans also helps avoid cooling an entire house as opposed to rooms in which people are using.
Tip – If your home is not wired for ceiling fans or you don’t want to pay the upfront costs, then use box or oscillating fans in their place. These fans are portable, use little electricity and cost less than a ceiling fan.
2. Cooking with Small Appliances
Using small appliances like a pressure cooker, crock pot, wok and microwave to cook is one of the simplest ways to save electricity in your home. A pressure cooker, for example, can reduce cooking times by up to 75% compared to using a conventional oven. According to ENERGY STAR, using a microwave to cook smaller portions can save 80% of your cooking energy compared to an oven.
The bottom line is that smaller appliances use much less energy than an oven or electric range when reheating foods or cooking smaller portions. These smaller appliances also produce less heat, which can help your home stay cooler during the warm summer months.
Tip – Take advantage of using your propane grill to cook food during the summer. The cost of propane is fairly cheap, plus cooking outdoors keeps the heat outside the home instead of inside it.
3. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
There are a lot of things to like about using Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL). The ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use 75% less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also last much longer which can help to offset the higher prices you will pay to purchase these types of bulbs. Not only do CFL bulbs use less electricity, they also produce much less heat, which can help to keep your home cooler during the summer months.
Tip – If you are on a tight budget, try replacing your most frequently used bulbs first to jump-start your savings. You can continue to replace your remaining bulbs as your budget allows.
There are plenty of simple ways to save electricity around your home, especially in the summer months. The three suggestions listed above are just a few easy things you can do around your home to cut down on your energy usage. Saving energy does not necessarily require drastic cuts or changes around your home. Instead, you can make several smaller (almost unnoticeable) changes to get a combined savings.
What other ways to save electricity around your home during the summer can you think of?
Neal’s take – I love all these ideas. And if you’re good at finding ways to save energy, why not put your knowledge to good use? Consider launching a side business showing your friends how they can save energy and money too.