Low-Cost Tips to Improve your Electric Bill Just in Time for Summer!

Improve your Electric BillAs the weather warms up and we get our air conditioners in good working order (see 5 Common Air Conditioner Problems for hints), you may be groaning inwardly at the thought of your summertime electric bills.

The Edison Electric Institute recommends these tips to reduce your year-round electricity usage:

  1. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs

  2. Reduce your cooling bill by 2% by raising the thermostat just 1 degree

  3. Lowering your thermostat by 1 degree in winter to reduce your bill by 3%

Low-Cost Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

Concerned homeowners can also implement the following low-cost tips to further improve their electric bill – just in time for the summer heat wave:

  • Weatherstrip and caulk to prevent air leaks – it could account for 15-30% of your energy use!

  • Open the door of your garage a small amount to increase air flow.

  • Close the damper of your fireplace and fireplace doors when not in use.

  • Install a programmable thermostat and schedule cooling around when you are actually home

  • Close your window shades, curtains, and/or blinds to keep warming sunlight out

  • Open the vents in your attic to relieve heat buildup

  • Turn off vents in unused rooms and close the door to those rooms

  • Run heat-producing appliances like dishwashers and dryers at night

  • Vacuum the condenser coils of refrigerators and freezers every month or so

  • Do not put hot foods in the refrigerator – let them cool off before to reduce the cooling load

  • Plan ahead and remove all ingredients from the refrigerator at once – each time the door is opened, the compressor has to run a bit longer to replace the cold air that spills out

  • Cook outside whenever possible to keep the heat outdoors and the temperatures cooler inside

  • When you use the range inside, turn on the fan to remove the heat immediately

See our Illinois Home Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips for more details about how to prepare your air conditioning unit for summer.

Some fun facts about energy savings *:

  1. Lowering your water heater temp from 140 to 120 can reduce your energy bill by more than 10%.

  2. Using a microwave can reduce your energy used for cooking by as much as 50%.

  3. Proper caulking and weather stripping can reduce your energy usage by 10-20%

* Edison Electric Institute pamphlet

Andrew MacDonald has been inspecting homes in Palatine, Schaumburg, St. Charles and surrounding towns for nearly a decade. If you have home inspection questions or want to schedule an infrared home inspection, fill in our online form and request a return call today.

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