Keep you and your wallet cool this summer
By Sabah Karimi
The long days of summer could mean more time spent at home and a daily challenge of staying cool. Still, the heat of summer doesn't have to heat up your energy bill. Here are some ways to keep cool while keeping your budget in check this summer:
- Take control of the thermostat.
If you have multiple thermostats set up around your home, even better. Consider how much time you truly spend in certain areas of the home and only turn down the thermostat to cool those areas while you are in them. Otherwise, you will be using the air conditioning in areas that don't need to be cooled as often. According to IGS Energy, the average cost of running the air conditioning for nine hours a day during the four hottest months of the year is about $460. Don't forget to make use of ceiling fans and standalone fans placed around the home. These can help circulate the air efficiently which can help keep A/C bills under control.
- Pick out energy-efficient appliances.
Refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines are everyday appliances you rely on to keep your household running smoothly, but they're also the major appliances that can put a dent in your energy budget.
During the summer months, your refrigerator and freezer might be working overtime and you might be washing more loads of laundry. You can cut down on energy waste — and that energy bill — by switching to energy-efficient models instead. Using your Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard® to make those bigger purchases can help you manage your budget in the short term as you make some money-saving upgrades for the long term.
- Wash dishes by hand…or skip the dishes altogether.
Summer is the perfect time to grill out and eat fresh foods more frequently. If you can cook in bulk and stock up on your summer favorites, you could shave some money off your energy bill by reducing dishwasher, stovetop, and oven use.
Dishwashers loaded with pots and pans, dinner plates and salad bowls can eat up electricity. Cook less whenever possible, opting for raw and fresh foods or eating meals you made in bulk and stored in the refrigerator. You can wash any dishes you do use by hand and serve food in reusable containers.
Still, if you absolutely have to use a dishwasher in your household, make sure it's an ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher, which can save you up to $431 in energy and water compared to washing dishes by hand.
- Control the sunlight.
Having oversized windows or lots of natural light streaming into your home can be a luxury, but it also comes at a price. Those long days of summer mean extra sunlight pouring into your living space for many hours every day. This can make your living space heat up faster so it pays to have light-blocking curtains set up around some of your major windows. Closing the blinds and adding drapes can block out extra light to keep your place cool — and give your air conditioner a much-needed break.
- Skip the dryer.
Doing a few loads of laundry a week can easily drive up energy costs, and during the summertime, you might find you have more piles of dirty clothes and sheets. According to IGS Energy, the annual cost of using the dryer — even an energy efficient one — is $104.46.
When you find yourself doing extra loads of laundry this summer, go ahead and wash your items in your regular washing machine, but leave items out to dry. Skipping the dryer can help bring down that electricity bill without compromising your lifestyle. You could hang clothes on a clothes line in the backyard or patio, or simply leave items on towel racks and hangars to dry. Bonus: Items that dry naturally might even last longer, since the material fibers aren't exposed to excessive heat.
- Check your air conditioner settings.
Many air conditioners are now built with an “energy-saver” option, which can help you cut down cooling costs when you end up changing the temperature several times during the week. When this option is activated, the air conditioner won't need to work as hard to reach its final cooling temperature.
If it's an older air conditioning unit, it might be even harder for the unit to reach its maximum cooling temperature and keep your house cool. Ideally, you'll want to maintain a steady temperature all summer long, but if you are playing with thermostat, turn on the energy saver to avoid a major energy drain.
- Turn off and unplug during the daytime.
Outside of any standing fans you might have around the house, get into the habit of unplugging all electrical items that you aren't using, and also turn off all the lights. Appliances and lighting that aren't used during the day can add cost to your energy bill and can easily be cut out — especially during the summer months and even more so if you are going away for a few days or aren't at home most of the day.
You'll find it's easier to keep cool and avoid surging energy costs during the summer with a few simple lifestyle changes. From keeping tabs on air conditioner use to switching to energy-efficient appliances, use these tips to help keep summer bills in check.
All content and photo provided in this blog is supplied by Sabah Karimi and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
Image Credit: iStock