5 Ways To Save Money On Utilities This Summer
We are in the middle of the “dog-days of summer” now and that phrase, in case you didn’t know, refers to the hottest, most humid days of the summer season, originating from Greek and Roman astrology. The dog days also mean trouble for your utility bills since you’re more likely to crank the A/C and stay indoors using more power. But since summertime should be spent traveling, enjoying time with loved ones and soaking up the sun, the more you save at home, the more you can spend somewhere else. These are the top five ways to save money on your home utility bills this summer.
Close, lock, and shade your windows and doors. More than the obvious of just keeping your windows closed when it’s hot and humid outside, you always want to make sure your windows are locked. When windows are unlocked, the seal between them is open, and this is a major way that hot air seeps in and your cool air sneaks out. If you feel a cold draft from your windows in the winter, you’re also getting a hot draft in the summer. Keep your shades and blinds closed to help prevent unnecessary heating inside.
Unplug and power down when in and out of town. Anytime that you step out whether just for a day or for a week or more, you should unplug all unnecessary appliances that soak up power. When you’re not home, you don’t need your phone charger plugged in to the wall, or your coffee maker, toaster, and other small items pulling power. Did you know that gaming systems like Playstation and Xbox are a huge power suck even when they’re plugged in and turned off? Don’t forget to unplug these items. When you’re out of town for a longer trip, unplug larger appliances like TV’s, routers, and cable boxes.
Cook and dine outside. There’s a reason you start seeing CrockPot recipes pop up during colder months and never during the summer. Cooking inside literally heats up your house causing your air conditioning to work harder and longer to cool your place down. So, cook and dine outside as much as possible. Grill out, eat salads and meals that don’t require cooking, and savor your suppers outside to save money inside.
Clean while you sleep. There are peak periods for utilities like water and electricity, which you need a lot of when running the dishwasher and doing laundry. If you save these tasks for non-peak hours, like after 9 or 10 p.m. at night, you will be saving money on your utilities. So, before you go to bed, start the dishwasher or toss a load into the washer. You can also consider drying your clothes outside where they might dry even faster depending on the temperature, you save the electricity cost of using a dryer, and there’s no risk of unanticipated shrinking.
Stay low and be smart. You might remember being a kid and spending your summers running around outside and sitting in the basements of your friends. You were on to something with that strategy since heat rises. Staying low in your home during the summer will keep you cooler which could eliminate your impulse for turning down your air to cool off. You can also invest in some smart home appliances like the Nest thermostat which tracks activity and has a built-in energy saving mode or using energy tracking apps to save even more.