Summer is on the way again, and for most of us, that means trying to cool our homes in the hot summer without running our power bill sky high. Here is some frugal living advice to help you save money on your power bill and cut costs, while keeping your home cool this summer.
If you have central air, it’s going to cost more to run it because it generally runs on a 220 instead of a 110 like most window air units do (except the huge ones). If you don’t use all of your home, then why cool all of it? Consider buying small window air conditioner units for the rooms you actually use, then either turn the central air off or leave it on 80 to 85.
If you purchase a window air unit that goes on and off by the room temp you have it set for, it will work as the central air unit does. You can also leave these off and turn them on only when you’re using the room they’re in. Granted, it will be a bit inconvenient, but it will save a load on your power bill. You can also invest in a few inexpensive fans to help circulate the air.
The stove will heat your house up fast, so cooking big meals or baking in the heat of the day should be avoided. Have a light lunch, sandwich, or a salad, etc. – something that doesn’t require a prolonged use of the stove or oven when it’s the hottest part of the day.
You might also consider using a small convection oven for baking smaller portions. Convention ovens are fairly inexpensive and because they are smaller, they won’t put out as much heat as the regular oven will. You can prepare anything in a convection oven that you can in a regular oven. They sit nicely on your kitchen counter and take up very little space. They usually come with one or two pans that are a perfect fit, plus your smaller baking pans and casserole type pans will fit lovely.
Drying clothes in a clothes dryer will not only heat up your home during the hot summer months, but because it runs on a 220, it will run up your power bill – and even more so during the summer because not only are you running the clothes dryer, you’re also running the air trying to cool what the dryer is heating up. There are a few solutions for the dryer usage that can help you save anywhere from a little money on your power bill to a lot of money on it.
Investing in an indoor clothes drying rack (or two) can cut your electric bill a lot, and certainly during the hot summer months when you will be running the air conditioner often. There are various clothes drying racksthat you can choose from, for whatever best suits your needs. Of course, there’s always the old fashioned handy outdoor clothes line, too. But with so many indoor choices available today, you can cut costs without ever having to go outside to hang clothes and bring them in off the line.
One of the thing I absolutely will not hang to dry is towels – bath towels, kitchen towels, washcloths. Most likely, you will feel the same way, as they are much softer when dried in the dryer. I confess I don’t care at all for hard feeling towels.
One main way to get around using the dryer and it running up your electric bill is to dry early in the morning, late at night, or even in the middle of the night, when the temps are generally cooler. Plus it generally costs less per kilowatt hour because less people are using the power grid.
This should be fairly obvious, but a lot of people actually leave the room or the house and leave TVs, lights, etc, running. A general rule of thumb – if you’re done with it, if you’re not using it, then turn it off. If you’re going to the store, turn things off. If you’re going to bed, turn things off. If you leave a room, turn off the light. Yes, all of this does add up!
When the hot summer sun is beating down on your windows, leave the drapes or shades closed. You’ll spend less in power by turning on a light if it’s needed than you will trying to cool down what you’re heating up by letting the hot sun in. If you have thin curtains, invest in some thicker drapes and shades that are designed to help block the sun and heat. These same ones will work just opposite in the winter and help keep the cold out.
These are just a few of the main ways you can save money on summer cooling and cut your power bill costs. Be frugal and put into effect these frugal ways to help you save money. Your piggy bank will love you for it!