When it is a beautiful day, I love opening the windows and letting in the fresh air. I have a new birdfeeder and it makes me smile to hear the birds enjoying breakfast right outside my window. But summer can be hot here in the midwest, and the air conditioner is sometimes my BFF.
Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. ~Author Unknown
Girlfriend Guru and financial wiz MIATA EDOGA shares tips for keeping the utility bill in check this summer. What are your ideas for keeping your bills in line during the blistering summer months, girlfriend?
Ah, summer. Depending on where you live, summer can either be the bane of your pocketbook or a lifesaver. For many people in southern climates (well, southern northern hemisphere climes), summer is a time when your budget flies out the window and tempers explode when the utility bill arrives.
While you might not be able to completely solve high summer energy bills, there are some steps you can take to lower them. Simply, you can raise one, lower one, and unplug for lower bills!
Raise – Air temperature – IF you raise the raise your thermostat just a few notches, you’ll hardly notice it and you’ll see the difference on your energy bill. According to the Department of Energy, you’ll lower your bill by 1% for every degree you raise your thermostat (and lower your thermostat in the winter!).
Other quick air conditioning tips:
– Open windows during the evening and early morning hours to let fresh air into the house. You might be able to avoid air conditioning completely until the mid-morning hours, depending on your region and tree cover.
– Keep the flue of your fireplace closed when you aren’t using it (which is most of the summer for most people!). One home inspector told me that this is a much bigger culprit of high energy bills than you might suspect.
Lower – Water pressure – Here’s a great tip that escapes many people. There are low-flow attachments you can buy for less than $20 which can cut your water bill tremendously. Older showerheads that pump water out at a higher rate cost people lots of money each year. A new, low-flow showerhead could save you 25% in water!
Other quick water tips:
– Lower your water heater temp. By cutting just a few degrees off of your hot shower, you won’t tell the difference and could save hundreds of dollars. 120 degrees is a great temperature for showers and many water heaters are preset at 140 degrees.
– Buy an energy efficient dishwasher. It doesn’t make sense to buy a new dishwasher if you don’t need it, but look for an Energy Star label when purchasing your next model.
Unplug – Electronics – Invest in electric utility strips and use them. Many people don’t realize that even when they’re turned off, appliances such as televisions, game consoles, and DVRs still draw electricity. Plug these all into a single power strip and unplug the strip when you’re not using your electronics. This could save as much as 4% on your next utility bill.
– Open your curtains! In areas where you don’t get direct sunlight (and heat), open curtains so you can turn off lights in a room.
– If you’re going to be inactive for more than 20 minutes, turn off your computer monitor. You’ll eat up lots of electricity when nobody’s looking.
MIATA EDOGA is the President and Founder of Abundance Bound, a 10-year old company committed to utilizing humor, inspiration & lots of love to give individuals around the world the necessary tools to thrive financially, while keeping focus on the things they treasure most. Visit the Abundance Bound Facebook Page for your free copy of Financial Success for the Creative Soul!
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