How To Lower Your Electric Bill in the Summer: 12 Tips To Keep You Cool
There’s almost nothing worse than a hot home and a soaring electricity bill. It can be stressful trying to figure out how to lower your electric bill in the summer, especially as temperatures indoors and outdoors rise.
While the summer months can be expensive, it’s possible to decrease your energy consumption and lower your monthly electric bill. Check out our list of 12 tips to keep your home cool and your bill manageable in even the most grueling temperatures.
1. Adjust Your Thermostat
Even the most energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can increase your electric bill if they’re constantly running. Adjusting your thermostat to around 78 degrees Fahrenheit is a quick and cost-effective way to lower your electric bill during the summer.
While it can be uncomfortable to adjust your summer thermostat settings to be 7 to 10 degrees higher than your winter settings, this tip can save you up to 10% a year—even when only adjusted for eight hours a day. Consider keeping your temperature setting higher during the hours you aren’t home and vacations, trips, or other vacancies.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Even if you regularly adjust your thermostat, you can increase your energy savings in the summer by installing a programmable thermostat. These smart thermostats can learn your temperature habits and automatically make thermostat adjustments based on your previous behaviors and patterns. You might also consider investing in a thermostat with remote control capabilities that allow you to adjust the temperature while you're away from home.
3. Use Ceiling Fans
If you have the option, consider using your ceiling fans to lower your electric bill in the summer. In homes with AC, ceiling fans circulate cool air, which allows you to increase your thermostat setting by about 4 degrees without reducing physical comfort. If you’re concerned about airflow in offices or other rooms with loose and light objects, consider installing larger fan blades to decrease circulation speeds and velocity.
4. Seal Leaks and Insulate
Cool air will escape where it can, especially through little cracks near windows, doors, and fireplaces. Prevent the transfer of hot and cold air through doors or windows by using caulk or weatherstripping to seal any noticeable gaps, and ensure your home is properly insulated to maintain a consistent indoor temperature.
5. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances
While your refrigerator, stove, and freezer may have been designed to last for years, they may actually be spiking your energy bill. Consider replacing your old energy-guzzling appliances with ENERGY STAR-certified models that use less electricity and can lower yearly energy bills by an average of $450. Not only are these appliances designed to use less electricity but they also reduce the amount of “phantom power” consumed when they are simply plugged in.
6. Maintain Your HVAC System
One of the best ways to lower your electric bill during the summer is to maintain your HVAC system so it runs at optimal efficiency. By regularly cleaning or replacing your air filters and scheduling annual maintenance, you can keep your system in tip-top shape. While professional maintenance can cost around $75 to $150 on average, regular checkups can help reduce costs associated with system repairs and replacements by catching problems early on.
7. Unplug Your Unused Devices
Saving money on your electric bill is directly tied to energy usage, and you can easily lower your electricity use by unplugging devices when they’re not in use. Consider unplugging phone and computer chargers, kitchen and bathroom appliances like air fryers and hair dryers, and other energy-sucking devices like televisions and music players.
These devices consume “phantom power” even when they’re not in use. To simplify this money-saving tip, consider using smart power strips designed to cut off standby power to devices and automatically disable unused appliances.
8. Use Heat-Blocking Window Treatments
When the sun’s out, energy bills soar—especially when 76% of the sunlight that hits double-pane windows enters the home as heat. To combat bill spikes caused by sunlight, install heat-blocking curtains or blinds and apply reflective window films to reduce the heat that enters your home through windows. We also recommend choosing reflective treatment colors and keeping blinds or curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day.
9. Reduce Hot Water Usage
Even in the summer, water heating accounts for 18% of the average American’s energy use. To lower your electric bill in the summer, use cold water as much as possible. For activities that require hot water, consider using lukewarm water instead, which can help reduce heating time and energy use without completely eliminating the use of hot water.
10. Avoid Peak Hours
Power companies can increase electricity rates during peak hours, which are certain times of the day when electricity use is most popular. Generally, peak hours tend to be the middle of the day or after work hours when more people are likely to use electronic devices and appliances. However, these hours vary by location, so research your area before switching up your energy use.
Learn when your company’s peak hours are and consider reducing your energy consumption during those times. Instead of running the dishwasher or doing laundry around dinner time, for example, it may be more cost-effective to wait until the early morning or late evening hours.
11. Check Your Rate
Oftentimes, electric companies provide different summer or winter rates for energy users. Whether you’re on a variable- or fixed-rate plan or are billed in some other manner, Arbor can help you find the best rates without service interruptions.
12. Consider Solar Panels
It’s possible to generate your own electricity and reduce your dependence on the energy grid. By installing solar panels, you can decrease your electric bill in the summer by creating your own renewable energy. However, be aware that solar panel repairs and installation can be expensive—between $4,500 and $36,000 on average—before investing in this unique energy source.
High electricity bills can cause stress, so we answer a few frequently asked questions about summer electric bills below.
Why Is My Electric Bill So High in the Summer?
Electric bills are high in the summer because many HVAC systems run consistently, which increases energy consumption. Even for households with a budget billing system, summer weather can increase energy use and electricity bills.
What Is the Best Temperature To Keep Your Electric Bill Down in the Summer?
The best temperature to keep your electric bill down in the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. This can help stop your bill from skyrocketing without causing physical discomfort.
What Runs Your Electric Bill Up the Most?
Heating and cooling systems run electric bills up the most, especially during the summer and winter. Controlling the temperature of your home and how frequently your climate control systems run is crucial to lowering your electric bill in the summer.
Lower Your Electric Bill Year-Round With Arbor
If you’re wondering how to lower your electric bill in the summer, there are plenty of cost-effective and quick ways to do so. If you’ve applied these tips and tricks to your daily routine but are still hoping to lower your payments, Arbor can help find you the lowest energy rates in your area. Enter your ZIP code to start saving money on your electric bill all year round.