15 Ways to Lower Your Summer Electric Bill

Want Lower Energy Bills During Summer?

It’s not unusual for energy bills to spike as the scorching summer heat sets in – with air conditioners running around the clock, the cost of keeping your home cool can quickly skyrocket. So, learning how to lower your electric bill in summer can be a game-changer. 

By understanding the factors that contribute to high electric bills and employing effective methods to reduce consumption, you can save money while contributing to a more sustainable environment. 

Why Lowering Your Electric Bill in Summer Is Important

High electricity bills strain your budget and dent your finances – which can be particularly frustrating during summer when you likely have a heap of fun family outings and activities planned. By actively working to reduce energy consumption, you can significantly lower your monthly expenses and allocate the savings toward other priorities and investments.

However, lower electric bills aren’t the only advantage. Learning how to lower electric bills in summer comes with several other benefits too:

  • Minimizing the risk of blackouts and power shortages by alleviating strain on the electrical grid.
  • Mitigating your carbon footprint.
  • Cultivating a more energy-conscious mindset to promote a generally more sustainable future.

Energy-Efficiency Benefits

Doing more to reduce your energy bills results in several financial and practical benefits, some of which may not be as immediately apparent as others:

  • Comfort – Energy efficiency improvements result in a cooler, more comfortable living environment during days of relentless direct sunlight. 
  • Appliance efficiency – Energy-efficient appliances and cooling systems tend to have an extended lifespan, saving you more money in the long term.
  • Reduced AC reliance – Implementing measures to minimize heat gain in your home keeps living spaces cooler without relying solely on AC.
  • Improved air quality – Energy-efficient homes have better ventilation systems that filter out pollutants, dust, and allergens.

15 Summer Energy Saving Hacks: How to Lower Your Electric Bill

Learning how to lower electric bills in summer involves applying best practices and making mindful choices, with full consideration of the following factors:

  • HVAC system maintenance
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Natural cooling methods
  • Thermostat settings
  • Fans and Lighting
  • Heat-generating activities
  • Solar initiatives

Join us as we take an in-depth look into how controlling these factors can help with how to lower electric bills in summer.

Maintain and Update Your HVAC System

Maintaining and updating your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is essential for meaningful energy reductions. The factors below can significantly impact how cost-effectively you can run your home during times of increased demand for cooling appliances.

1. Regular HVAC Maintenance for Peak Efficiency

HVAC systems that operate at peak efficiency have longer life spans and can cool your home quicker. You should read the manufacturers recommendations thoroughly and invest in regular servicing and maintenance of each AC unit to:

  • Clean and replace clogged or dirty filters.
  • Remove dirt and debris from the evaporator and condenser coils.
  • Clear the drain line of water backups. 

2. Check for Air Leaks

Air leaks waste precious energy by letting cool air escape and allowing warm air to come in. To prevent additional workload on your system due to air leakage, you should:

  • Add weather stripping, caulk, or spray foam insulation to seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors. 
  • Inspect your ductwork for leaks, loose connections, or damaged insulation, and make the necessary improvements and repairs. 

3. Insulate Your Home Effectively

Proper insulation is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. You should pay particular attention to the following areas:

  • Attic – Adding attic insulation helps regulate indoor temperatures by reducing the workload on your cooling system.
  • Windows – Installing blinds, shades, and reflective films minimizes heat gain from direct sunlight and prevents cool air from escaping.
  • Doors – Applying weather stripping and using draft stoppers can significantly improve energy efficiency.

Utilize Energy-Efficient Appliances

Products that minimize energy consumption while maintaining optimal performance are the best choice for energy-conscious homes. Here are a couple of best practices to follow. 

4. Use Energy Star-Rated Appliances

Energy Star-rated appliances are designed using advanced technologies. They meet stringent energy efficiency guidelines by ensuring:

  • Minimal energy waste
  • Optimum cooling performance
  • Efficient refrigeration  

5. Turn Off and Unplug Unused Electronics

Simple changes to your daily habits can equate to significant savings over time. Top tips for maximum energy and cost reductions include:

  • Powering down electrics to eliminate ‘phantom’ power drainage when appliances are left on standby.
  • Unplugging all appliances, devices, and electronics when not in use. 
  • Utilizing smart power strips with integrated switches that can simultaneously cut off power to multiple devices to prevent energy waste.

Use Natural Cooling Methods

Harnessing the power of existing environmental elements can significantly decrease your reliance on energy-consuming cooling systems. Managing airflow and shade are key factors in achieving energy efficiency during hot summer months. 

6. Open Windows and Doors for Cross Ventilation

Cross ventilation allows fresh air to flow through your home. Some top home ventilation tips include:

  • Opening windows on both sides of your home to allow a through-breeze.
  • Opening doors to let in the fresh, cool, natural air whenever possible.
  • Placing fans and ventilators strategically to expel warm air and pull in cooler air from outside.

7. Use Strategic Shading

Strategic shading helps block out direct sunlight and keep your home from overheating, reducing the need to have AC units running constantly. You can create strategic shading by installing:

  • Awnings, pagodas, and trellises – particularly on the south and west-facing sides of your home. 
  • Window treatments like blinds, shades, curtains, and reflective films.
  • Deciduous garden trees that provide maximum shade during summer but lose their leaves and provide more ambient light in the winter.

The Benefits of Smart Thermostats

smart thermostat

Smart thermostats offer even more intuitive solutions than standard programmable thermostats. The most popular brands come with advanced features such as:

  • Algorithms that learn your cooling preferences and habits and make automated adjustments to suit them.
  • Remote access via mobile apps or voice commands. 
  • Motion sensors and occupancy detectors that can be turned on and off as required.  
  • Integration with smart home systems like Amazon Alexa.
  • Real-time energy usage data.

8. Program Your Thermostat

It becomes much easier to optimize for energy efficiency when you can set specific temperature schedules based on your daily routine. Programmable thermostats allow you to:

  • Increase the temperature when you’re out and lower it before you return to avoid cooling an empty house.
  • Increase the temperature slightly at night when it’s cooler outdoors so your air conditioners don’t have to work so hard. 
  • Utilize specific eco modes that automatically adjust temperature settings to maximize energy efficiency without compromising comfort.

9. Adjust Your Thermostat Temperature

One degree of temperature difference may seem insignificant, but adjusting your thermostat even by just a small amount can lead to noticeable savings on your electric bill.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.5 degrees Celsius) is the best temperature setting to use at home. However, turning your thermostat up by 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit (2-3 degrees Celsius) when leaving the house improves efficiency and reduces waste. 

The Benefits of Ceiling Fans

Fans provide invaluable support for your cooling system during the summer months, helping you maintain a comfortable living environment while still achieving energy savings that result in lower electricity bills. 

10. Utilize Ceiling Fans

While it may not be feasible to cool your home using fans alone, ceiling fans offer several advantages when used in conjunction with your AC units:  

  • Energy-efficient cooling – Ceiling fans use significantly less energy and create a wind-chill effect, allowing you to raise the thermostat temperature and reduce the load on your cooling system.
  • Cost savings – Using less energy means your utility bills will be smaller at the end of each month. 
  • Versatility – Ceiling fans offer year-round benefits because they can be reversed to improve heating efficiency in the winter by circulating warm air that rises to the ceiling.
Proper Use of Ceiling Fans

To maximize the benefits of ceiling fans and ensure optimal energy efficiency, follow these simple steps:

  • Rotation – Every fan in your home should rotate counterclockwise during summer months to create a cooling downward airflow. A clockwise rotation is better in winter for an upward flow that redistributes warm air more efficiently. 
  • Speed – Higher speeds create a stronger breeze, making you feel cooler. So you’ll want to use the highest speed setting at the hottest times of day and slower speeds when it’s cooler later in the evening. 
  • Usage – Fans are designed to cool people, not rooms. So always remember to turn fans off when you move to another area of the house.  

Limit Heat-Generating Activities

Being mindful about how you cook, clean, and do laundry can do more than you think to minimize excess heat in your home while simultaneously decreasing the strain on your HVAC system. 

11. Cook Outside on A Grill

There are several benefits to cooking outside during the summer: 

  • Reduced indoor heat – Cooking on an indoor stove or oven increases the overall temperature of your home, meaning your cooling system will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. 
  • Energy savings – Grilling using propane, natural gas, or charcoal consumes less energy than electric stoves and ovens, so your utility bills will be lower.
  • Space utilization – Cooking outside rather than in the kitchen creates opportunities for gatherings, barbecues, and al fresco dining, enhancing your overall summer experience.

12. Wash Clothes and Dishes in Cold Water

Hand washing clothes and dishes in cold water instead of using a washing machine, dishwasher, or water heater can significantly reduce energy consumption. While a few heavily soiled or greasy items may still require a hotter wash, most of your clothes will thank you for a cooler washing cycle. Many laundry detergents are formulated specifically for cold water use, and cold washes are typically gentler on fabrics, which aids color and texture maintenance. 

Switch to More Energy-Efficient Lighting

Lighting accounts for a significant portion of your home’s energy consumption. Implementing energy-efficient lighting solutions maximizes natural light, lowers energy usage, decreases utility bills, and creates a more sustainable living environment.

13. Switch to LED Bulbs

Even though they have a higher upfront cost, switching to LED (Light Emitting Diode) or CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs is more cost-effective in the long run because they:

  • Have a longer life span.
  • Generate less heat.
  • Require significantly less energy to produce the same level of brightness.

14. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting When You Can

Natural light has been linked to improved mood, productivity, and overall well-being. Plus, optimizing natural lighting reduces reliance on artificial lights and improves the aesthetic appeal of your home by: 

  • Allowing the sun to enter, creating a sense of spaciousness and making each room feel more inviting and vibrant.
  • Enhancing architectural features by allowing natural daylight bounces off their surfaces.

How Solar Panels Can Help Reduce Costs Long Term

By switching to a cleaner and greener energy source, you can reduce your carbon footprint, save on utility bills, and live a more sustainable life. Solar energy provides numerous benefits for both homeowners and the environment, making it an attractive option for those seeking to lower their energy consumption. 

15. Invest in Solar Panels

There are several financial benefits to going solar, including the potential for lower utility bills and access to the Federal Solar Energy Credit. However, there are many additional advantages too, including:

  • Reduced carbon emissions – Solar energy doesn’t generate harmful carbon emissions or greenhouse gases like burning fossil fuels does.
  • Minimal maintenance – A solar panel system has no moving parts, so ongoing maintenance is minimal.
  • Backup power – By diverting solar energy into battery storage, you can run your home ‘off-grid’ during blackouts until regular service is restored.
Assessing the Cost and Savings

Before investing in solar, it’s essential to calculate the potential savings over the lifespan of a solar panel system, taking into account:

  • Upfront installation costs
  • Energy production.
  • Projected electricity rate increases
  • Warranty and maintenance costs. 

When running your calculations, remember that many solar panel systems have a lifespan of 25 years or more, providing ample opportunity for savings.

Consume Less Energy, Lower Bills & Reduce Stress on the Grid

With energy costs continuing to fluctuate and the environmental impacts of excessive energy consumption becoming ever more apparent, it’s crucial that as many people as possible begin adopting energy use best practices. 

While there’s a lot to consider, understanding how to lower your electric bill in summer and implementing energy-saving practices is not as complex as you may have previously thought – and many of the tips and tricks for reducing your energy consumption are easy to apply without excessive effort or investment. 

Recap and Final Summer Energy Saving Tips

Let’s recap the primary considerations and strategies for lowering energy consumption and electricity bills throughout the summer heatwave:

  • Regular HVAC maintenance is essential in achieving meaningful energy reductions.
  • Proper insulation and sealing minimize heat transfer and air leaks.
  • Energy Star-rated appliances are the best choice for power-conscious homes.
  • Utilizing smart power strips and unplugging unused devices eliminates ‘phantom’ energy use.
  • Using natural light and creating strategic shade reduces the need for excessive cooling.
  • Natural cooling methods can significantly decrease your reliance on energy-intensive cooling systems.
  • Programmable and smart thermostats offer multiple energy-saving features and comfort customizations.
  • Properly utilized ceiling fans are an essential component in keeping your home cool. 
  • Limiting heat-generating activities can significantly lower the inside temperature.  
  • Energy-efficient lighting solutions create a more sustainable living environment.
  • Switching to a cleaner energy solution allows you to save on utility bills while also reducing your carbon footprint and playing your part in mitigating climate change.

One of the best ways to reduce your summer utility bill is to choose a reliable energy supplier and sign up to a simple and straightforward energy plan. You can contact the helpful team at BVK anytime to get more information, discuss your needs, and learn about your consumer rights

The Long-Term Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Being proactive in adopting energy-efficiency measures is about way more than the short-term savings you’ll make on electricity bills. Longer-term benefits include:

  • Enhanced comfort and air quality – Improved insulation, better temperature control, and more efficient ventilation systems lead to a healthier indoor air quality.
  • Future-proof against rising energy costs – Homeowners that invest in energy efficiency have protection against escalating energy prices as they are less vulnerable to market fluctuations.
  • Increased property value – Energy-efficient upgrades like insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and solar panels are deemed highly sought-after features by environmentally conscious buyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does understanding your electricity rate structure and implementing time-of-use strategies contribute to optimizing energy usage and reducing electric expenses?

By taking advantage of time-of-use pricing (where the cost of electricity varies depending on the time of day), you can schedule high-energy activities during off-peak hours when the rate is lower. Strategically shifting energy consumption to times when electricity is more affordable is an easy way to maximize cost savings.

What are the potential benefits of participating in energy efficiency rebate programs or incentives offered by utility companies to promote energy conservation and cost reduction?

By working together with your utility company, local environmental agencies, and other relevant parties, you can offset the upfront costs of energy-saving upgrades, making them more affordable. Plus, because energy efficiency initiatives contribute to your overall power conservation efforts, they will save you even more money on electricity bills in the long run.

How can conducting an energy audit of your home help identify areas of inefficiency and guide you in making targeted improvements to lower your electric bill?

Scheduling a home energy audit is a great way to pinpoint areas of inefficiency by evaluating insulation, air leaks, and appliance use to identify areas where energy is being wasted. A professional auditor can provide valuable insights for making targeted improvements and send a full report direct to your inbox, allowing you to prioritize upgrades that will have the most significant impact.