Cutting your expenses and being more financially efficient is the way to approach tackling your bills. Many people assume they are going to spend less in the summer because their heating is turned off and their windows are open. However, it is important to note that summer comes with its own costs, and being proactive in cutting down your utilities is a great way to use the warm months to get ahead.
With family vacations, weddings, summer camps, July Fourth celebrations and a plethora of other summer activities that cost money, getting those monthly bills under control will be beneficial to you and your bank account. Rein in expenses this summer, starting with your utility costs.
“Sunshine is great, but can cause your air conditioning to work harder.”
Make Better Use of Air Conditioning
It is always nice to have the windows down and enjoy the summer breeze, but let’s face it, there are days when the heat makes this impossible. There is no reason to disrupt your comfort by not running your AC, just do so in a responsible manner.
For example, make sure your vents are completely open and clean. While this sounds like an obvious bit of advice, LikeHacker noted that dirty or closed vents can cause the air conditioning unit to work harder, which means your bills will be higher. You may not recognize this effort, as the temperature in your home will feel the same, but you will be paying more for it.
Likewise, some rooms might require more air than others, such as the top floor as opposed to the basement. Close vents in parts of the home that aren’t utilized as often or simply don’t need the extra air. Closing doors to these rooms will help the air flow to the parts of the building in which you want the additional comfort.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
As technology continues to evolve and be incorporated in various parts of the home, the thermostat is one device you should absolutely take advantage of. Modern thermostats allow you to be more specific, such as setting temperatures on timers and even being able to control the temperature when you are not home.
According to This Old House, having an adjustable thermostat can save you quite a bit of money. There is no reason to rely on old technology when advancements can help your financial situation.
Close Drapes or Blinds
Sunshine is wonderful, especially after you have waited all winter for it. But direct sunlight for hours on end will work against your air conditioning, causing it to work harder to keep the temperature where you want. As U.S. News & World Report pointed out, unless you are enjoying the sun, there is no reason to have all the drapes and blinds in the house open.
Don’t be afraid of the sunshine, but don’t let it work against you either. By simply closing the blinds in rooms that aren’t being used you can help keep your home’s interior cooler and your utility bill lower.
Use Energy-efficient Appliances
You may live in a new home in which you have modern appliances that help you balance your energy consumption, or you might be relying on older equipment which uses more energy than it needs to achieve the same results. While modern, energy-efficient appliances certainly cost more money than older units, they are certainly more beneficial in the long run. If you plan to stay in your home for a while, then it is worth budgeting for the costs of new appliances and installing them in your home.
“Do yourself a favor by incorporating energy-efficient appliances.”
According to Entrust Energy, these modern appliances cut down the amount of electricity they use to operate, which you will see on your monthly statements. Additionally, they help you to reduce the amount of water you use as well. Whether you purchase a new dishwasher or washing machine, using less water is good for your finances as well as the environment.
Energy Star-certified homes can save homeowners up to 30 percent when compared to typical homes. Additionally, there are various federal energy efficiency programs, state programs and offers by utility companies and appliance manufacturers that help you save money by implementing energy-efficient products. From rebates to tax exemptions, using energy-efficient appliances is worth it in the long run, according to Fluid Industrial Associates, Inc.
By implementing these small changes you can keep your summer finances in check. These aren’t difficult things to do, you just have to get in the habit of doing them. And by implementing things like programmable thermostats, much of the work will be done for you. Stay cool this summer and spend less money by being more efficient.
The views expressed by the articles and sites linked in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions and policies of Cash Central or Community Choice Financial®.