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With the beginning of warmer weather comes the beginnings of new ways you can save money. Spring is just full of new opportunities, as it should be. Not only can you start doing more things outside when it comes to family activities or health and fitness, it can also really help start to lower some of your bills like electricity!
Are you ready to save money on your electric bill?
Electricity takes up such a big portion of most people’s bills every month. Some people spend hundreds a month, but there are lots of little ways, that over time can make a huge difference.
- Use Your Fans – Using your fans instead of air conditioning might not be quite as nice and cool, but it certainly will be nice when your bills is less. Did you know the simple act of changing the direction your fan rotates can help save money too? When your ceiling fan is set to go counter-clockwise, it pushes cold air down, versus when going clock-wise it pushes hot air down, so keep an eye on which way it’s spinning.
- Take a look at your window treatments – What’s covering your windows (if anything), can make a huge difference in the airflow and temperatures going in and out of your house. They can vary based on what is most effective, but some good ones that can help keep that heat out, and the cool air in. A few examples are blinds, curtains, drapes, window films, and more.
- Lower your water heat – According to Energy.gov, your hot water heater consumes on average 18% of your home’s energy. A good temperature to set it to is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You won’t get burns or scalds, and your hot water heater won’t have to waste as much money on maintaining too hot a temperature.
- Say goodbye to your dryer – By switching to hang drying your clothes, be it inside on a drying rack, or outside on a laundry line, drying your clothes without a dryer will save you loads on your electricity bill, especially if you have a big family and lots of laundries to go around.
- Change your light bulbs – If you haven’t already done so, try switching to a more energy-efficient light bulb. They might cost an extra buck or two up front, but in the long run, will save you more. Not only do the LED light bulbs generate less heat (which means less electricity), they also last a lot longer too!
- Upgrade your appliances – Now, I know this is not something everyone can do, and it isn’t even something everyone needs to do, but if you have an old appliance (think 2004 and older), it might be time to upgrade. Energy Star became a thing in the ’70s, picked up speed in the early ’90s, and by 2004, was something you wouldn’t want to mess with. Essentially, it is what regulates and guarantees that your electronics are more efficient. When they’re less efficient, they have to work harder (and pull more energy), just to do the same amount of work as say, the same product, but from 2010. A real-life example, I was renting a house that had a very old stove (like, was probably a fire hazard old). When it finally bit the dust, and our landlord replaced it, we noticed a major drop of about $50 a month on our electricity bill, and nothing had changed except that stove.
- Soak up the sun – As the days get longer, the snowy clouds are less frequent (I did mention I was in Canada, right? Even as I’m writing this mid-April, we’re in the midst of an unexpected couple inches of snow), and the sun gets brighter, now is the perfect time to throw open the curtains, and soak up the sun! Get your fill of vitamin D, and if you do it while listening to Cheryl Crow’s Soak up the Sun (a favorite of mine growing up), all the better. Turn off your lights in the rooms you can, and whenever possible, just stick to that natural lighting.
- Clean your air filter – This is something you should definitely be doing on the regular. Not only can a dirty air filter make things like seasonal and dust allergies worse, but it can also lower the efficiency of your central air system. Make sure, even if you’re not replacing it every time, your at least cleaning it the recommended once every 90 days. Every 20-60 if you have one or more pets (think cat’s, dogs, and other animals that shed)
- Change your timing – A lot of electricity companies have peak and off-peak hours where it may be cheaper or more expensive to run electricity during certain times of the day and week. Check out your local electric companies and see what those times are. Typically, it’s cheaper on weekends and late at night, but every company is different. You never know, you may be able to save a lot of money just by doing your laundry after dinner instead of in the morning.
- Keep your doors closed – When it does come time to turn your air conditioner’s on, make sure you, (and everyone in the house), keeps the doors and windows closed. By doing this, you’ll keep the cold air in, and the hot air out. Besides, you shouldn’t be leaving your doors wide open all the time anyway. Like my mom always said when I was growing up; “You weren’t raised in a barn!”
Share your tips and tricks with our readers!
What are some of your best tips and tricks to save on electricity this spring and summer? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
6 thoughts on “10 Frugal Tips to Save Money on Your Electric Bill This Spring”
Hi Chloe, congratulations on joining The Frugalite! You are so right about old appliances. I replaced my (very old) refrigerator a few years ago when it finally conked out and I did notice a drop in my energy bill. I think it also helps to vacuum the refrigerator coils – not something I have done myself, but recently I had to have a house call for appliances and I had that included in the visit.
My electric company has 3 tiers during the summer, the most expensive from 5-8 p.m. I’ve asked the fam to not run the dishwasher or washer/dryer during this time. This past year I’ve gotten a new washer/dryer, freezer, and refrigerator. I’m expecting the summer electric bill will be lower. I set up a reminder on my calendar to change the furnace filter after 3 months.
The south and west sides of a house or building will get the most summer sun. So make sure any windows facing those directions are shaded. If you don’t have a nice shade tree outdoors, use awnings or window film or even insulated curtains drawn shut during the heat of the day. When I lived in Florida, I invested in window film that doubled as hurricane shutters and burglar bars — you couldn’t shatter those treated windows even with a baseball bat. Which meant I didn’t have to board up the windows. My dad worked for an AC company and his boss said that keeping your lawn watered and healthy actually helped the AC because a nice green lawn absorbs the sun’s rays; dead grass or concrete or other light-colored materials outdoors would reflect the sun and make the area hotter. Also replace those AC filters once a month and clean the coils on your refrigerator or freezer really often, too. I think it’s already been mentioned elsewhere on this site, but if your fridge or freezer are mostly empty, fill jugs of water and put them on the shelves because having items taking up space uses less power. So does setting your AC at 78 degrees F and using fans to blow the air and make the rooms feel cooler. And drink plenty of ice water/tea/lemonade (non-alcoholic drinks) to cool down as well.
Great tips my washing machine has a timer so I do a load in the middle of the night and hand it out in the morning except for the hot summer months as it gets a smell if left in the washer . I have clothes racks for when it rains and a line in our garage to hang inside . All tips are appreciated, love reading the great ones in the comments section too.
Here is another idea cook in the morning especially items being cooked in the oven. Slow cookers and electric skillets are small and use less energy. In our house we also do not have a standard temperature for example if it 100 degrees outside including temps with humidity we set the thermostat to 80. Also keep hydration in the picture a cool body is healthier. My mom’s family used damp wet sheets covering windows during the Summers in Nebraska bonus might help keep pollen levels and dirt lower. One other story I have heard is that moms would clean the crawl space under the house and sleep under the house. Also wash the coils on the outside air condition units dirt is not always a good idea. Our family also pours a cup of bleach or vinegar down the clean out tube to help keep water flowing.