10 Free or Low-Cost Ways to Save on Summer Electricity
Who doesn’t want to save money these days. I know I do.
Here’s a list of ideas that you could implement today and save a little cash on your home electricity bill.
1 : Chimney/Flue
There is a small part of your chimney called the flue which opens/closes allowing smoke from a fire to go up the chimney and then to the outside. Most don’t realize that this little apparatus has the ability to open and close but pretty much every house has it.
Stick your head in your fireplace and look up.
You’ll see the flue and and you will see if it’s open or closed. A lot of heat or air conditioning, which you are paying for, can escape through this little hole.
I’ve been a homeowner for years and I didn’t even think about this till the other day. I wonder how many fires I have had and the flue wasn’t open. Yikes…
2 : Repair holes in windows
I decided to get my sons a BB gun. We had lots of fun with it but low and behold one day I saw some BB-sized holes in 2 of my windows.
Everyone denied making the holes but regardless, a lot of air conditioning was escaping through these holes.
At first I didn’t think it mattered because they were so small but a lot of air seeps out.
Either replace the window pane or take some clear silicone and fill in the holes. This won’t fix the hole in the window but it prevents the AC from going out.
3 : Close windows and make sure they seal
Especially true if you have young children. Make sure your windows are closed. Sounds ridiculous but it’s totally true.
My kids open the window to talk to another kid who’s outside or who’s across the street or who’s at the neighbors house and then they’ll leave the window wide open or worse, just barely cracked open.
A bad foundation might prevent you from getting this taken care of so your foundation looked at if out if you feel its necessary.
4 : Attic door not sealing
A new attic door was installed at my house before I bought the house.
Though I liked the new door. It never shut properly.
I thought it was an aesthetic issue only but a lot of air conditioning can leak out.
So unless you like air conditioning the attic, make sure it seals properly.
5 : Holes in attic ceiling
Speaking of attics, this is a good idea if you have 2 floors and a room over your garage.
I had to replace some plumbing in the garage ceiling which went into the master bath.
I thought that since it was in the garage I didn’t need to replace all the drywall I ripped out. Turns out lots of heat was going up through the ceiling and making my room hotter.
Sounds pretty obvious but I didn’t think about it till someone pointed it out.
6 : AC filters
Change em. Bad filters make your AC unit work harder. If it works harder, you pay more.
7 : Door thresholds sealing
All exterior doors need to be sealed because air gets in and out. A basic vacuum is created by exterior doors. The cold air inside interacts with the warm air outside. This is the concept of how hurricanes are created.
The warm air pulls the cold air because the air wants to normalize the temperature.
This is an easy fix. There are plenty of rubber items you can add to the bottom of your door in order to make it seal.
8 : Does light come through exterior doors or is there enough rubber
All exterior doors need to be sealed….read item above.
If your door doesn’t seal properly then you need to buy some rubber strips which stick to the frame of the door so when you close the door, no air can get in or out.
9 : Close the laundry door
Obviously, the clothes dryer creates heat. I have a laundry (utility) room that has a door.
Technically you are paying to cool off a room which you are heating up at the same time.
Just close the door. I’m only in the laundry room for a few minutes so I don’t really care what the temperature is.
I close the door at all times unless I am in there. I noticed my entire house is cooler by simply keeping this door closed.
Personally, I also closed the AC vent in that room since it just doesn’t matter to me to have that room cooled.
On the flip side though, if it’s winter time, keep it open. You are already paying to heat up the dryer so enjoy a few extra benefits.
10 : Use a gas grill instead of the oven
Ovens take a long time to heat up. Then you take a while to cook your food. Then it must cool down.
Just like the clothes dryer, it heats up the entire area. Your oven and your AC are fighting each other.
Use a gas grill and BBQ your foods instead of using the oven. I like baked chicken but in the summer we switch to grilled chicken. Overall, it’s almost identical but just cooked in a different method.
However, just like the clothes dryer in the winter, use the oven and when you are done cooking your food, keep the oven door open and heat up the house a bit.
Saving money on your house electricity isn’t that complicated. But if prefer to sell your house, I buy houses 🙂
Here are 2 additional items that you can try but they aren’t cheap:
11 : Solar panels
Start using solar panels to generate electricity. I use the company Sunrun for mine and I only pay a monthly fee. I have had times where my bill was zero.
12 : Upgrade your windows
The thin windows we use can let lots of heat/cold in and out through the window itself even if its perfectly sealed.
Consider upgrading your windows to much better windows that are double panel and have a kind of gas in between the panes in order to control or simply get rid of the ability to let air pass through your window pane.
I had a salesman at my house who used a heat gun on the outside of my window and then asked me to put my hand on the inside of the window where his gun was. My hand couldn’t take the heat within a few seconds.
We tried the same thing with his window and I couldn’t even tell he was using his heat gun at full capacity just inches away from my hand.Click to get your offer
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