Cold winter weather can send utility bills soaring and most Canadians are old hands at keeping a reign on their utility bills in winter. While summers may be milder, that doesn’t mean they don’t come without some challenges that can keep energy bills high. Here are five tips to saving money on your summer utility bills.
Dry clothing and run your dishwasher at night
You may not realize just how much heat your clothes dryer or dishwasher generates, particularly if you have a good HVAC unit. The extra energy required to keep your home cool while your clothes or your dishes are drying can add quite a few Loonies to your energy bills. At night, however, lower outdoor temperatures help to negate the heat generated by dryers. One of the best ways to lower energy costs in the summer is to simply turn off the AC in the evenings and open doors and windows to allow the cooler outside air to cool your home naturally.
Open doors and windows in the morning, close those in the early afternoon
Energy-efficient homes create a strong barrier between indoor and outdoor temperatures. In the winter, this can save you a great deal of money but in the summer it can actually cost you more. In the winter, energy-efficient homes effectively trap heat inside the home which allows you to use less energy to keep it heated. In the summer, however, when temperatures outside are cooler, the cool air can’t make its way inside to cool your home off naturally. You can help cut your energy costs by opening doors and windows in the evening and morning, then closing them against the higher afternoon temperatures.
Use curtains, blinds or window coverings
You may love the bright look of brilliant sunlight streaming through your windows but your energy bill does not. That same sunlight that lights up your rooms also raises the temperature of those rooms significantly. You can strike a balance, however, by using adjustable shades that let in just enough light to keep your rooms from being dark and dreary while keeping enough of it out to keep the temperature steady.
Choose the right energy plan
Canada is somewhat unique in that not all areas offer government regulated energy services. In some areas energy is regulated by the free market. This means that many Canadians have the opportunity to choose their own energy plans from a number of different providers. You can also choose different providers for services like natural gas or electricity. Many companies, however, will give you significant discounts if you bundle your services with them. Before you choose a plan or a provider, make sure you carefully research all the options different energy plans have to offer. Choosing the right plan can save you a bundle.
Use ENERGY STAR appliances
When you need to replace an appliance, upgrading to ENERGY STAR-rated appliances can save you a significant amount on your monthly bills. In fact, some companies will even offer you some fairly healthy rebates for upgrading to ENERGY STAR appliances, which can offset the higher up-front costs than similar appliances. Not only do ENERGY STAR appliances save you money, but they are also significantly more beneficial to the environment. ENERGY STAR appliances are generally in the top 15 to 30 percent of their class for energy performance, which means they perform more efficiently, which leads to less power drain overall. ENERGY STAR rated dryers, for instance, not only draw less power to operate but are better insulated to generate less heat which in turn saves on cooling costs.