Summer is coming and that means longer, warmer days spent at the beach or outside with family and friends, soaking up the sun.
But for many people around Southern California, summer also means higher utility bills from running air conditioners, swimming pool pumps and other energy-sucking appliances during the hotter months.
This summer doesn’t have to be a drag if you follow these 5 simple steps to avoiding the summer utility bill blues.
1: Lower your water heater temperature
The hot-water heater most of us have in our home is a major energy draw. Keeping 50 or more gallons of water heated and ready for a shower, a load of dishes or other household task uses up a lot of natural gas and electricity.
By lowering the pre-set temperature of your hot-water heater to 120 degrees during the warmer summer months, you can easily save yourself come cash.
Who wants to take a hot shower in the summer anyway?
2: Replace older appliances with newer energy-efficient models
Are your laundry machine, dishwasher, refrigerator and other household appliances helping or hindering you from saving money on your monthly utility bill? Older appliances generally aren’t as energy-efficient as newer models, so swapping them out can help save you money in the long run.
When shopping for new appliances, just look for the Energy Star logo, meaning that the model has the government’s seal of approval. While it’s an investment up front, your monthly utility bill will benefit.
3: Replace your air conditioning filters
It’s often overlooked, but your air conditioning unit’s air filter plays an important part in helping keep your utility bills under control during the summer. If it’s clogged with dust and other debris, your air conditioner will have to pump harder in order to move the cool air through your house.
By replacing your air filter before the temperatures rise, you’ll be in a good spot to cool your house down this summer without burning your bill.
4: Check your seals
Cracks around doors and windows in your home are a huge problem when you’re trying to keep cool air inside. They may seem small, but when you add up all the leaks in your home, it’s equivalent to leaving one window wide open.
Fixing the problem is as easy as buying cheap expanding foam or caulking to seal the cracks around windows and doorframes or holes in exterior walls for water pipes and other openings.
5: Go solar
Of course, the best way to avoid being shocked by your summer utility bill is to install a solar power system on your home. In addition to helping lower your utility bill, you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re also helping protect the environment by reducing your home’s need for fossil fuels.
Most homeowners can pay off their solar power systems in five to seven years, meaning after that, you’ll have free electricity for as long as your system is operating. Installing solar panels is by far the best way to eliminate or dramatically reduce your monthly utility bill.
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