Is the summer heat making your bills go through the roof?

Here’s 5 ways to get some electric bill savings as an addition to some items we had in our 15 Summer Money Saving Tips blog from June. These are things you can start doing right away to help you save. Some may require a minimal purchase to get you started, but the electric bill savings will outweigh the cost after a few uses.

Use your larger appliances in the morning or late evening. If you have to use the oven, washer, dryer or dishwasher and run them during cooler parts of the day, your air conditioning will run less and save you money.

Speaking of appliances … Wash most of your items in cold water to keep your hot water heater from running. You are using about half the energy with a cold wash/cold rinse vs. a warm wash/warm rinse. Use the dryer less and hang your clothes more. A clothesline is really cheap (I used to have clothesline hung outside and from the rafters in our basement for rainy days) and tension rods for hanging smaller items can be pretty inexpensive as well.

Block out the sun with shades or curtains. Just keeping your blinds, shades or curtains closed during the hottest 8 hours of the day will save you 10-15% during the summer months. Investing in “blackout” window treatments can be a little costly, but they help keep out the heat in summer AND cold in winter, so they would pay for themselves in a few seasons.

Turn up your air conditioning in the evening. A 3 to 4 degree temperature change inside during the dog days of summer is barely noticeable. I also take one (or more) blankets/comforters off the bed for better sleeping. If you leave the temperature turned up for longer than 8 hours a day, you will notice a 5% difference in your electric bill during the summer months.

Keep it light. Energy efficient lightbulbs will boost your electric bill savings, but they can be quite costly. Start out with one or two bulbs that you use most often. I replaced one bulb in my living room that we use whenever we are home. It had a chart on the box which said if I use it for 8 hours per day it would save me about $15 per year. Since these bulbs last a really long time, I figured I would give it a try.

Do you have any sure-fire ways to keep your electric bill down in the summer? Stay cool and share your electric bill savings tips with us in the comments.