5 Tips to Save Money on Your Electric Bill This Summer

light bulb and money

One of the best indicators that warmer weather has arrived is your electric bill. Almost as soon as you turn on your air conditioner, your utility bills increase. You need the air conditioner to keep your family cool but hate the additional expense. There are a few ways that you can keep cool and save money on your electric bill. Check out these tips.

Change Your Air Filter

One of the best ways to save money on your electric bill is to change your air filter. The air filters in your air conditioning system are the first line of defense for keeping dirt and debris out of your HVAC unit. These filters catch a variety of allergens and debris. If it becomes clogged, you need to change it. As a general rule, you should change the filter every three months, and once a month, if you have pets or a smoker in the house.

If you don't change your air filter often enough, it becomes clogged. This forces your air conditioning unit to work harder and causes an increase in your electric bill.

Keep Your Blinds and Curtains Closed in the Hottest Part of the Day

Of course, you love all the natural light that a sunny afternoon offers. However, that sunlight also naturally heats your home. This causes your air conditioning system to work more often to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. By closing them at the hottest part of the day, you save money but still enjoy natural light in the morning and evening hours.

Air Dry Your Clothes and Only Run the Dryer Late at Night or First Thing in the Morning

The spring and summer are great times of the year to sun dry your clothes. If you hang your clothes on an outdoor line in the morning, they'll be dry by late afternoon. Your dryer uses a lot of electricity, so you save money on your electric bill by not using it.

If you don't have the ability or time to dry your clothes outdoors, you might consider only running your dryer late at night or first thing in the morning. Your dryer produces a lot of heat and will heat the room it sits in. By drying early or late, you aren't adding heat during the hottest parts of the day.

Eat Cool and Use Your Outdoor Grill Often

In the spring and summer months, there is a large variety of fruits and vegetables available. Take advantage of this bounty by eating cold meals for breakfast and lunch. Enjoy a plate of fruit and cheese for breakfast and a salad with all your favorite veggies. You can make a strawberry soup or a yogurt parfait.

When you need to cook meat, or make the family a pizza, take advantage of your outdoor grill. The weather is ideal for cooking outside. By eating cold meals and preparing meats and entrees on the grill, you won't use your oven or cooktop. Both of these appliances heat the kitchen and cause your air conditioner to run more frequently. This is a great way to save money and enjoy some fresh food.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat ensures that you arrive home at the end of the day to a comfortably cool home. It does this without running the air conditioner all day long. It's one of the most energy-efficient tools that you can buy for your home. In fact, Nest, one of the best known programmable thermostats, claims to be able to cut your energy bills by 20 percent.

Don't quietly pay your summer utility bills. There are some changes that you can make to lower them. With a little planning and changes in your normal routine, you easily save money on your electric bill.