After getting your first utility bill of the season, you may be wondering, “Why is my electric bill so high in summer?” As the temperature rises, so does the amount of electricity being used.
Summer is considered a peak season, meaning it’s when electricity costs the most because it’s in such high demand.
Utility costs in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area are already among the top ten highest in the nation. Factoring in the increase in usage and demand, it’s no wonder the average summer electric bill is higher than we’re used to.
Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce it.
If you’re looking for summer electricity tips to lower your utility bill and raise your home’s energy efficiency, this post is for you.
We’ve gathered 5 impactful tips that will show you how to lower your electric bill in summer without sacrificing comfort.
5 Summer Electricity Saving Tips
1. Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Visit
When you neglect regular maintenance on your AC unit, its components can become dirty, dusty, clogged, loose, or even broken.
This can lead to your unit breaking down prematurely, but it can also cause it to use more energy than necessary to operate.
An annual HVAC maintenance plan can help your unit operate better and it can save you money on your energy bill, especially during the warmer months. A clean, tuned-up air conditioner will run much smoother and not have to work as hard to power through dust, debris, and malfunctioning parts.
2. Get a Programmable Thermostat
The key to most summer electricity saving tips is simply reducing how much energy your home uses. Start by identifying ways to trim your energy usage throughout the day. The easiest way to do this is to invest in a programmable thermostat.
For example, if you work a hybrid job (a mix of working from home and going into the office) you know you have room to curb your electricity usage during the hours you’re not home.
However, if you have a traditional thermostat, you might think your best bet is to turn your AC off completely while you’re away.
This is where having a programmable thermostat comes in handy. Instead of running the AC on high during the summer months, programmable thermostats can run at a constant level.
They also have a regulation mode, meaning you don’t have to turn your air off all day while you’re gone. This is a great option for people who have pets at home… and for those who just enjoy coming home to a relaxing environment!
3. Turn on Your Fans
A lot of homeowners fail to realize how comfortable their home can be when it’s kept between 70 and 78 degrees or warmer. A big reason why your home might feel stuffy and hot at a higher temperature isn’t due to the temperature, but rather because of the lack of airflow.
Fans use up far less energy than your AC unit since they’re a more efficient way to create airflow in your home. Ceilings fans can help you cut back on your air conditioning by up to 40 percent.
While they don’t cool the air, they pull body heat off the surface of your skin and help circulate whatever cool air your AC unit provides. Using fans with your AC unit can allow you to use your AC unit less, saving energy while keeping your home perfectly comfortable.
4. Use Electricity During Off-Peak Hours
You can reduce the cost of your average summer electricity bill by limiting some energy use to off-peak hours when the cost of electricity is cheaper. Off-peak hours are from about 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the summer.
Here are some everyday tasks you can do during off-peak hours that may help offset the cost of running your AC system frequently:
Wash and dry your laundry
Run the dishwasher
Take a warm shower
Cook using the oven
5. Unplug Electronics That Aren’t in Use
If you’ve tried all of these and still don’t know how to lower your electric bill in summer, it’s time to learn about “vampire electronics.” These are devices that use power even when they’re turned off.
Common vampire appliances include laptops, routers, gaming consoles, televisions, and microwaves.
These things can add up to create a lot of wasted energy. Removing unnecessary electronics and appliances from power sources can help you reduce energy costs every month by eliminating “standby” electricity.
Another solution is to plug these devices into power strips that have an on/off switch. That way, you can just turn the power strip off without worrying about unplugging everything.
Common Summer AC Issues: Air On But Not Cooling
If you’ve tried all the summer electricity tips you can find and nothing has made a difference, you may be in need of some professional troubleshooting.
While it’s normal for the average summer electricity bill to be a bit higher, it shouldn’t be double or triple what you’d pay in the spring.
There could be other causes behind your high utility bill, and John C. Flood is here to help you figure out what they might be.
Our certified electricians are trained to catch even the slightest hint that there’s an underlying electrical issue. Contact us today to learn more.