Summertime utility bills can sneak up on you, surprising you as you try to keep cool in the hot months. As you try to economically avoid the heat, keep these helpful and easy ideas in mind.
Never underestimate the power of shade for keeping cool. Shady spots and rooms can be several degrees cooler than sunny areas, so take advantage of areas that can offer this respite. Whether you close curtains in a room or plant trees near a window to block some sunlight, creating shady areas works well in the fight against summertime heat.
As the temperature rises outside, be smart about your indoor temperatures. When you are using your oven, consider cooking several things during the same time period, so that you are not keeping it on for hours.
Use a smaller appliance if you can, to avoid overheating the kitchen area. A toaster, crock pot, or microwave will not heat your home up in the way that an oven will. Grilling outside is also a great idea. Not only will you not heat your house up, but grilling is a traditional part of summertime. Anything can be grilled – even peaches or romaine lettuce can be grilled for a summertime treat!
If you are one of the lucky Coloradans who has air-conditioning, it is easy to have a utility bill running into the hundreds of dollars. Keep your AC at as high of a temperature as is comfortable, remembering that your home doesn’t have to feel like an ice cream store. Have your AC unit serviced on a regular basis to avoid any major problems that might cost thousands, and keep your filters clean and registers clear of dust or buildup.
A smart thermometer such as Nest might be a good investment, if you have not already invested in one. You can program these to fit your family’s energy needs, and they will “learn” to regulate to a higher temperature when no one is moving about the home.
Both ceiling and tabletop fans are an economical way to cool your home during the hotter months. Ceiling fans work in two ways. If you have AC, ceiling fans will help it cool the home by actually increasing circulation of the cool air. They also cool the rooms that you are in, with many people preferring to use a ceiling fan at night to cool off.
Tabletop fans are great at cooling whatever room they are in, and they often have several different settings so that you can choose what works best. Just remember to turn your fans off when you leave the room or area. Fans work well when you are in the room, but there is no reason to keep a fan on if someone isn’t there.
Plugging your electronics into a surge protector or smart strip will not cool your home down during the hot months, but this is a good time of year to remember to watch for other energy vampires in your home. Small electronics can add up to big dollars on your utility bill, as they suck energy whenever they are plugged in. Think about using a smart strip for those many small items, and then turn the strips off when you leave the house or when you go to bed.
Summer months are some of the most fun in Colorado. Taking steps to tame your electric bill during these warmer times frees up more of your money for the fun things, while keeping your family cool!