Has the summer heat been reflected in your power bill? Check out these energy efficiency tips.The southeast is well-known for sunshine, beautiful beaches and long summers. Visitors may enjoy the sunshine states, but southern residents start to feel the heat burden when electrical companies increase their prices on summer utilities.
Some of the worst states for high summer utilities are also the states with some of the best southeastern summer attractions. In fact, Florida residents pay 12% more than the national average and South Carolina residents have them beat paying 29.5% more than the national average in utility bills.
Residents can lower bills and increase their energy efficiency by first understanding the source of the problem. Often times, summer utilities increase because of structural issues that let heat in and cold air seep out. Problems also arise from manual issues like leaving a window ajar or not properly setting your thermostat.
There is good news for residents looking to make a change to their summer utility problems. You can lower your energy bills and increase your energy efficiency with these 10 simple tips:
- Unplug devices. Walk along the walls inside your home. Anytime you see something plugged in, unplug it. Then begin the practice of unplugging any appliance or device immediately after use.
- Use your thermostat efficiently. You don’t need to blast the air during the day if everyone in your household is out. Set your thermostat to adjust throughout the day and only use cooler temperatures when your house is filled.
- Use a ceiling fan. Circulate the cool air in your house regularly throughout the summer months.
- Close doors and windows. When you walk your house to unplug devices, also be sure all your windows are closed. Anytime someone opens a door or window, they should close that door or window promptly after use.
- Turn off lights. Every time you leave a room, turn the light off behind you.
- Get your AC or home inspected. If your summer utilities are worse than previous years, consider having a professional inspect your home and consult you on solutions.
- Add insulation. Air often escapes around doors or windows. If you can feel hot air pushing through the cracks around these areas, visit your hardware store and inquire about simple DIY insulation techniques.
- Close the blinds. If you aren’t home during the day, you don’t need the sun beaming in through your windows. Close your blinds and reduce the heat in your home.
- Adjust your vents. Try changing your air vents so the blades point toward the center. You will get a more concentrated blast of air. Also be sure your vents aren’t closed or pointed towards a wall where the cool air isn’t reaching the whole room.
- Use your exterior shade. If you don’t have trees near the sunny side of your house, you can plant some trees that will give you the extra cool shade you need.
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