01 May

10 Summer Electricity Saving Tips

We’re in the dog days of summer. Those long, languishing, lazy last few weeks of summer when it’s still hot outside, your kids haven’t started school yet, and the neighborhood pool’s siren call is hard to resist. If your electricity bill has spiked these last few months, it’s not too late to bring it down to earth with a few electricity-saving ideas.

10 Summer Electricity Saving Tips

1) Close Your Curtains – Seems almost laughably simple, but if you block out sun, especially if your home gets southern exposure, you can reduce the workload on your air conditioning unit and keep the temperature inside your home a little more comfortable.

2) Cook Outside – Grilling is a healthy, energy-efficient way to keep your oven off. If you don’t have a barbecue, now is a good time to look into purchasing one. They are deeply discounted at the end of summer.

3) Run Your Dryer and Dishwasher At Night – Power load for these appliances generally peaks between 2 pm and 8 pm. Running them at night will help reduce the heat they generate into your home, which causes your air conditioning to work harder. 

4) Automate Your Thermostat – Using a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature in your home for certain times of the day can reduce your home energy costs significantly. If you want to go really techie, you can look into purchasing a “learning thermostat,” such as the Nest.

5) Fill Up Your Refrigerator – Surprise! Stocking up on all those yummy, in-season fruits and vegetables can help your refrigerator run more efficiently. Food doesn’t warm up as quickly when the door is open on a well-stocked refrigerator. 

6) Turn Up Your Thermostat a Few Degrees – Save 1-3 percent per degree that the thermostat is set above 72. Set it higher when you leave for an extended period of time.

7) Unplug!  – All those plugged-in appliance are draining your electricity. Your toaster, curling iron, and electronics chargers can be unplugged until ready to use. 

8) Open Your Windows At Night – We are fortunate to live in a climate that cools down at night. Take advantage of that by opening your windows at night, and then closing them in the morning to trap in all that cool night air. Remember, though – safety first!

9) Turn Your Water Heater Down To 120 Degrees – if it’s not already set to 120 degrees, now is a good time to give it a try. 

10) Vacuum Your Registers – Suck all that dust and lint out of your registers. Make sure that your registers can actually circulate the air that they’re trying to!

Bonus Tip – Go outside! We live in such a wonderful climate, why not take advantage of it and close up your house, get your bike or your walking shoes on, and get out to enjoy the dog days before they become the wet days?

About Karen Mares

A Portlander born and raised, Karen lives in Southwest Portland with her husband and children. Karen has kept journals throughout her life, and she began her personal blog, Random Thoughts From A Suburban Mom in 2007. She hasn't stopped writing since, channeling her passion for words and information into writing and communicating through social media and blogging.