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During the hot summer months, most people around the country see their energy bills increasing. How does this happen? Extreme weather conditions make us experience a constant lack of comfort — either sweltering heat or frigid cold — and cause us to seek a sense of normalcy indoors. While this pursuit is normal, we see an annoying jump in energy bills, which begs the question: what are some ways in which we can decrease rising energy costs in our home?
Keeping Energy Bills Low
One very frustrating thing that can happen around the country is varied (often increased) pricing on energy throughout the year. You can see spikes in your bill without using any more or less energy than in previous months. This is a reality of the cost of energy, though — the use of non-renewable resources in producing energy causes the pricing to constantly fluctuate. Some providers allow this to happen; others keep prices artificially fixed until certain points of the year. Sometimes, you can do everything “right” — conserve energy and live simple — and still see costs rise.
Keeping energy bills lower than average requires commitment from all members of the family living in one’s home. Without this type of commitment and understanding, you will probably experience a sense of frustration — you will be making sacrifices only to see them being reversed by the next person. Living a cost-effective lifestyle requires that all members of your family living in your home understand the goal — reduce energy costs — and take consistent action in order to reach that goal.
Once you have a commitment from all parties involved, employ some of the following methods in order to reduce energy bills (gas/electric, depending on the area of the country):
- Set your thermostat to between 78 and 82 degrees in the summer and between 60 and 65 in the winter months. Many Americans mix these two settings up, keeping indoor temperatures reversed. In order to accomplish this goal, you may need to increase/lower temperatures over a period of months in order to get used to this change in lifestyle.
- Spend most of your time in the coolest or warmest part of your home (often the same area), and close off rooms not in use. If at all possible, seal off rooms you do not use during the months of most extreme temperatures.
- Utilize fans strategically in order to maintain cool indoor temperatures during the summer. Using fans liberally and air conditioning conservatively will save you bundles on energy costs.
- Never underestimate the power of an attic fan. Attic fans can work wonders in drawing hot air out and keeping your house cool.
- Test the energy efficiency of your appliances. Sometimes, it is more cost effective to replace existing appliances with newer, energy efficient appliances.
- If you are building a new home, do so with the understanding and goal of saving money in the long term by employing energy efficient building practices and strategies now. Use high quality insulation, solar paneling systems, and build your home with energy efficiency in mind.
We hope this tips help you in your quest to cut down costs.