Cool Tips for Saving Money on Your Utility Bill this Summer
The heat is on outside, and that's good news for your beach vacation and outdoor summer plans. Spikes in temperature outside are a natural part of sunny summers in Coastal Virginia, but they do tend to raise the cost of heating and cooling your home. If you've ever lived through a hot, hot summer or a cold, cold winter, then you know what it's like to see your utility bill double in the span of one month, alone (gasp-it's real!).
You can take steps to curb your bill, even when the temperature is rising outside. By paying attention to just how much electricity you use in other areas of your home, and maximizing the use of your cool air at times when you most need it, you can put a dent in your rising electric expenses. You'll end up saving money AND saving precious energy that, believe it or not, is not in a limitless supply.
Before you can get to work on trimming your bill, you'll have to create a plan and know how and when you can cut your utility usage down at home. We've compiled a few tried and true tips for saving money that will make you, your famiy AND the environment happier and healthier in the long run.
Watch Your Thermostat
Keep your thermometer set to 78 degrees and no lower, and you'll immediately see a huge decrease in cost. While this might sound uncomfortably warm to those who prefer cooler temps indoors (we're talking to you, 70 degrees), we recommend you give it a try for a few days, and see how your body adjusts. You can supplement your AC by running ceiling fans as needed.
Stop the heat before it gets into your home by covering your brightest and biggest windows with curtains or additional shades. You'll want to brighten up your home when you're there, but especially on days that you head to work, or out to play, cover those windows and keep your home cool and dark for your return.
When not in use, make sure to pull the plug on your computers, televisions, and all other devices. Consider investing in a smart strip that automatically disconnects your electronics when not in use. You'll be amazed by how many devices you've unconciously kept powered up before (it's more than you think), and you'll save energy, money and peace of mind knowing you aren't wasting precious resources (including your own!).
Cut the Lights
It might seem like common sense, but it's easy to run out of the door in the morning and leave your lights on all day. Make sure to turn off the lights when you move from room to room, and certainly switch off all indoor lights when you leave in the morning. You'll save money and keep your home cooler.
Use Appliances When it's Dark
Run your dishwasher, dryer and stove after the sun goes down to prevent bringing additional heat into your home. In summer, keep your stove usage to a minimum by preparing cool foods as often as possible, or by making use of the community grills.
Filed Under: Life at Monticello at Powhatan, Williamsburg, VA
Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA.
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