You might be tempted to think that it is easy to save money on bills in the summer, especially during the heatwave we are enjoying this time. Too hot for heating. Too hot to cook so lots of salad etc.
But the reality is that we still use utilities, and sometimes more than in winter.
Too hot for heating?, so let’s put lots of fans on, or even air conditioning units…, too hot to cook?, so let’s get a take away, all sticky and sweaty? Let’s have another shower and the list goes on.
So how can we take advantage of the weather and still save money on bills?
Use windows to regulate temperature
So many people rely on cooling systems to regulate temperatures and forget about their windows.. Opening your windows on a warm night invites cool air into your home. Close your bedroom door to trap the cool air in your room.
When you wake up, shut the windows and close the blinds to trap more cool air. This ensures you won’t have to turn on the fans or air conditioning straight away
Use less hot water
Generally, a fifth of the energy you use goes towards heating water. More economical use of hot water when washing the dishes or taking a shower could save money on electricity bills.
When washing dishes, rinse them with cool water, rather than hot. Furthermore, don’t use a dishwasher until you have a full load, and deactivate it before it hits the drying cycle. Or don’t use it at all. Allow your dishes to air dry to save energy. Finally, if you have a mixer tap, leave it set to cold water so it doesn’t generate hot water that stays in the pipe and cools.
Insulate your home
Wall and attic insulation serve two purposes. They prevent heat from escaping during winter, and trap cool air during summer. Install both as a way to potentially save electricity.
Unfortunately, renters don’t have this option and still wonder how to save electricity. You can do some little things to insulate your property without buying attic and wall insulation. Draught-proof your doors, and install blinds on your windows to trap cool air.
Check your lights
The average home uses 6% of its energy to power the lights. Many spend more than they need to because they use their lights inefficiently. Furthermore, lights heat your home, indirectly causing you to spend more money on cooling.
Turn off any lights not in use, and use lamps whenever you don’t need to light an entire room. Use solar lights in your garden.
Keep the drapes closed during the day
To keep heat out, you should close your drapes during the day.
According to some studies, medium-coloured drapes or blinds with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%.
As you’ve probably noticed, a dark-coloured shirt absorbs more heat on a sunny day than a lighter colour, which reflects the heat. The same idea applies for drapes or curtains. You’ll want the side facing the sun to be white to reflect the sunlight. The side facing the inside of your home can be darker to keep light out.
Use a ceiling fan
Installing a ceiling fan can help you feel cooler by creating a wind-chill effect. The air moving across your body makes you feel cooler.
Keep in mind that in the summer, the ceiling fan should spin counter clockwise. To save money in the wintertime, you can change the direction of rotation to clockwise to push warmer air downwards from the ceiling.
Warning: Consult your landlord first before installing a ceiling fan.
Install window film
Reduce the amount of sun and heat that comes in through your windows by applying sun blocking window film to your windows. Think of it like window tint for your house instead of your car. One reviewer used a thermometer and found that the film reduced the temperature on their carpet by more than 15 degrees.
Not only will the easy-to-apply DIY plastic film reflect sunlight, it will also block UV rays to prevent your furnishings from fading.
Avoid using the oven
We all have to eat, but heating up a big metal box to 400 degrees generates a lot of extra heat that takes a while to dissipate. Luckily the summer time is the perfect time of the year to fire up the grill outside.
The microwave is also a lot more efficient for heating up food without the additional radiating heat.
If you need to use an oven, see if a smaller toaster oven will be enough. You could even consider placing it outside. Small grill plates are an excellent way to cook without heating a huge ove,
Be more efficient with the fridge
Your refrigerator is already working harder during the hot days of summer. Wait for hot items to cool to room temperature before putting them in the fridge.
Keep the fridge doors closed as often as possible by planning ahead and pulling out or putting back several items at once. Unfortunately, leaving the refrigerator doors open and letting all the cold air out won’t make your kitchen cooler.
While you are at it, this might be a good time to use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean the condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator so that it can run the most efficiently.
Dry your clothes in the sun
Skip the dryer and use the solar power from the sun to dry your laundry for free by hanging them outside on a clothes line.