Last Updated on December 4, 2021 by Kelvin Nielsen
Everyone looks forward to summer. Not only is it a great time for some leisure, but it’s also a perfect time to hang out with friends. And we don’t really work or go to school during summer, do we?
However, an increased power bill can take your summer downhill. Given that the temperatures are high, you’ll need to have your air conditioner running almost twenty-four seven. And this often brings a big surge in the utility bills. Matter of fact, according to Arcadia (a renewable energy company), energy bills can go up by 10-15% in summer.
But with a few tricks, the bill doesn’t have to be so high. This article explores several ways to lower electric bills in summer in an apartment. Let’s get down to it.
1. Find leaks and fix them.
Leaks around windows, doors and other areas are often the big culprits behind huge summer bills. And how does that come about? They allow already conditioned inside air to escape. This forces the AC to keep running, spiking your bills.
Now, you can either remedy leaks yourself or hire an expert to do it for you. Hiring an expert is the best option since they’ll run a blower door test and identify all the leaks. If you opt to do it yourself, check areas around windows, doors, baseboards, light switches, and electrical sockets. Seal the leaks using foam or caulking.
2. Install a programmable thermostat.
A thermostat can noticeably cut down power usage. It lets you set the hours you’ll be away from home and when you’ll be sleeping. During these hours, it will adjust the indoor temperature accordingly or turn off the AC. This way, it’ll minimize energy wastage.
It’s even a better idea to invest in a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi-enabled and allow you to control your home’s temperature using your smartphone or laptop. In addition, some of them are sensor-enabled and can detect when you’re home or away. This makes them energy efficient.
3. Switch to ENERGY STAR appliances.
You have probably heard of ENERGY STAR. In a nutshell, it’s a government program that advocates for energy-efficient products. Any product with an ‘ENERGY STAR’ stamp has undergone tests and will consume energy minimally. That also goes for an ENERGY STAR-certified air conditioner. Unlike the uncertified models, these one use 15% less energy.
4. Unplug appliances.
There’s a misconception that when one turns off an appliance, it stops pulling power. Fact is, the appliance continues to consume power; almost equal to what it would when it’s on.
To stop this energy wastage, plug off any appliance you’re not using. Also, when going out or to sleep, unplug all the appliances that would needlessly consume power. If that’s too much of a hassle, then consider investing in smart power strips. These devices will help minimize energy wastage by cutting off power when it’s not needed.
5. Use fans.
Instead of entirely depending on the air conditioner during summer, save money by using ceiling or floor fans. As compared to air conditioners, fans consume a significantly smaller amount of energy. This is because, unlike ACs that work by supplying cold air, fans simply create a cooling effect by circulating air. Also, the amount of energy a thermostat uses to control the fan is lesser than it uses on an AC.
6. Clean the AC vents and units.
An AC whose filters, coils, and fins are poorly maintained won’t work efficiently. Clogged filters will obstruct air flow, forcing the AC to use more power to compel more air. In the same way, dirt and debris in the unit will block normal airflow and possibly damage the evaporator.
With that in mind, regularly clean the AC filters, vents, and all other units. This will enable it to work to the maximum and consume less power. Also, replace old and worn-out filters with new ones. Installing new filters lowers energy usage by 5-15%.
7. Cover windows with blinds and drapes.
Window coverings are great for the decor but can also help reduce energy use. By blocking the scorching sun rays, they reduce the rate at which your house heats up. This way, the AC will not need to run for long hours.
Now, drapes are different from blinds. While both are great for reducing heat gain, blinds are more efficient. They can reduce heat gain by up to 45% while drapes can cut down the same by 33%.
8. Utilize natural ventilation.
Many people underestimate the power of natural ventilation. If you live in a climate where nights get cool and breezes come around, take advantage of it. Save energy and money by turning the AC off and opening the windows.
9. Lower your water heating costs.
Water heating considerably contributes to the energy bills. And, admittedly, you don’t need to shower in scalding hot water during summer. So, lower the temperature of your heater and save energy.
This goes for laundry as well. Instead of using warm water, clean your clothes with cold water. And rather than drying the clothes using the machine, hang them outside and take advantage of the weather.
Another effective energy-saving tactic on laundry is doing bigger loads less frequently. The less often you use the laundry machine, the less energy you will obviously use.
10. Spend time outdoors.
It goes without saying that the more time you spend indoors, the higher your utility bills will read. This is, of course, because when you’re indoors the AC and other energy-consuming appliances will be on. When you’re out, you’ll turn all these appliances off, saving a lot of energy.
While summer is a good time to relax and have a great time, a big utility bill can ruin it. But, fortunately, there are several hacks you can use to keep your power bills relatively low. From fixing leaks, installing thermostats to resorting to fans, don’t let a big power bill ruin your summer. Use the 10 tips aforementioned!
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.