Home REX Tips 16 Ways to Enjoy a Cost-Effective Summer

16 Ways to Enjoy a Cost-Effective Summer

by Kindra Liang
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Due to the pandemic, more people are staying at home this summer rather than going on holiday. If this is the case, then don’t let the hot weather wreak havoc on your electricity bill. Consider these smart energy-saving tips and enjoy your summer staycation!

1. Close your blinds

One of the best ways to cool any room without using air conditioning is to simply close the blinds on windows with direct sun during the day. This can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and save you up to 7% percent on your electricity bill.

2. Invest in blackout curtains

Blackout curtains are specifically designed to effectively block sunlight and naturally cool the rooms in which they’re installed. Made from a special opaque fabric, blackout curtains can reduce heat gain in a room by up to 33%.

3. Use a fan and ice

If you’re staying at home for work, and don’t want to use the air conditioner, why not try putting a bowl of ice in front of a large fan to cool down instead?

4. Open a window at night

If it’s safe to do so, crack a window at night to take advantage of cool breezes and let air flow naturally through your home. You can even create a cross breeze by setting up a fan near a window.

5. Use cold water

If you’re having trouble sleeping, fill a hot water bottle with ice-cold water and place it in your bed. Alternatively, keep a spray bottle of cold water on your bedside table and spritz your face, back of your neck, and back of your knees to cool off. Thin, pure breathable cotton is the best material for nightwear and bedding in summer.

6. Avoid heat-generating appliances

Hairdryers, ovens, dishwashers, and washers & dryers can all generate unwanted heat in your house. Use them during the cooler times of the day to keep indoor temperatures comfortable.

7. Keep cool with plants

Plants are a natural, inexpensive way to keep your house cool. Certain plants like the ones we’ve listed below can decrease air temperature in a room as much as 10 degrees. Plus, the moisture released helps maintain indoor humidity in the human comfort zone of 30 to 60%.

  • Aloe vera
  • Areca palm tree
  • Ficus tree
  • Ferns
  • Snake plant
  • Golden pothos

8. Adjust your thermostat

If you do use your air conditioner, adjust your thermostat to as close to the outside temperature as possible so it doesn’t have to work as hard. If it’s a hot day and you prefer it cooler, you can always bump it up if you leave the house and lower it when you’re back. Another energy-saving tip is to gradually raise the temperature during the day, so by nighttime, you can switch it off completely.

9. Use a programmable thermostat

If you don’t want the hassle of changing your thermostat all the time, a programmable thermostat can do the job for you. It allows you to program your air conditioning unit to cool your home, and even specify certain rooms depending on their usage, and can help lower your electricity bill by up to 20%.

10. Maintain your air conditioner

Simply cleaning or replacing your unit’s filters can reduce your energy consumption during summer by as much as 5 to 15%. If you don’t know how to do this yourself get in touch with an air conditioning professional and schedule a service.

11. Use a ceiling fan

Many homeowners swear by using a ceiling fan as well as their air conditioner. This is a great addition to have in a room as they circulate the air making it feel 3 or 4 degrees cooler just for a few cents a day, and you can turn the thermostat up accordingly. You might even be able to get by solely with a ceiling fan depending on the climate.

12. Use electronics efficiently

Get into the habit of turning off your electronics to avoid ‘phantom load’ – this is the energy used by TVs or laptops when they’re in sleep mode. An easy way to do this is to attach several plugs to a power strip so you just have one switch to turn off before you go to bed.

13. Optimize your laundry

Doing your laundry less often not only saves energy but water, your clothes, and your time. When you do a load, follow these tips to save in the laundry room:

  • Wash full loads
  • Wash with cold water
  • Use the high speed or extended spin
  • Take advantage of sunny days to air-dry
  • Clean the lint filter on the dryer
  • Use dryer balls
  • Use a lower heat setting on the dryer
  • Use an Energy Star-certified washer and dryer

14. Make your dishwasher cost-effective

Dishwashers use around 20 gallons less water than hand washing, so you don’t have to feel guilty every time you switch it on. For optimal energy efficiency and to conserve water, scrape off food rather than pre-washing, choose the eco mode, and only turn on the dishwasher when it’s full. 

15. Switch to LEDs

Energy-efficient LED light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. This can result in cost savings of around $75 a year. If you’re staying at home this summer to renovate your home and get it ready for sale in the fall, updating your lighting is an inexpensive fix to attract energy conscious buyers.

16. Turn down your water heater

In the summer months, most of us tend to forget about our water heaters. Most households only require them at 120ºF but many are automatically set to 140ºF. By lowering your water heater’s temperature, you can cut energy consumption by 6 to 10%.

We hope these cost-effective tips and tricks help you have an energy-saving summer. Even if you’re staying at home and can’t go on holiday, at least you’ll get a nice surprise on your next electricity bill!

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