7 Ways to Save Thousands on Your Summer Utility Bills
Unless you live in a cold climate, you’ve probably noticed that your summer utility bills dwarf your winter bills each year. When the sun is pounding and your house needs round-the-clock air conditioning and the yard needs even more watering, bills can quickly climb into the hundreds or thousands. Here are a few simple tricks to keep your utility costs low and your family even cooler this summer.
The most economical way to keep cool air in is by sealing out hot air. Prevent cold air from escaping by adding caulk or foam weatherstripping tape to gaps around the windows and door sweeps to fill the area between the door and the threshold.
Low-flow aerator faucets
Your yard may need gallons of water to survive, but we could all stand to cut back on our shower routine. Low-flow aerator faucets and shower heads mix equal parts air and water, so you’ll get a flow that feels nearly identical to the original, while your water consumption will be reduced by as much as 50 percent. Water pressure complainers can take a seat on this one (sorry, dads) — when they see their new water bill they may change their mind. Check out WaterSense products for more info.
Clean your filters
If you use window units, clean your filters regularly to prevent dust and debris from clogging airflow (and hiking up your electricity bill). If you have an HVAC system, change your AC filters/furnace filters year round. Even when you’re not heating your home, cold air and hot air share the same space and their filters need to be cleaned or replaced accordingly.
Lower your water boiler temperature
Your water boiler is a huge energy-suck and you don’t need it working at 140°F when it can kill bacteria just fine at 115°F. If you’re still concerned about conserving heat (or preventing it from heating up your home in the summer), consider adding insulation around the boiler or a water heater blanket. They exist!
Wash clothes in cold water
Unless you have a pest problem or some seriously soiled linens, cold water will work just fine. According to Treehugger, over 90 percent of the energy used by your washer goes toward heating the water. Simply by using cold water only, you can cut your washer’s energy consumption by 90 percent!
The average home loses up to 13 percent of its water to leaks; that translates to 15-20 wasted gallons per day. What’s worse, a whopping ten percent of homes in the country waste about 90 gallons per day, costing homeowners thousands of dollars a year! Leak detection and water damage prevention systems like Flo alert you to leaks when they start, from the smallest droplets to large-scale floods, to help you save on your water utilities and prevent water damage.
Use LED bulbs
In addition to being more energy-efficient than its incandescent and CFL counterparts, LED bulbs also run considerably cooler. LED bulbs reduce your electricity bill on two fronts: they use almost no energy and they won’t heat up your home in the summer, giving your AC a break.