How to save money during summer

Monday, June 27th, 2011 By

Picture a summer beach scene. A pair of flip flops in the foreground are left behind in the sand, and a man can be seen enjoying the water in the background.

Saving money during summer feels fine. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Chris Bartnik/Flickr)

Summertime is here, and for many people, that means higher costs on electricity and home improvement. However, there are summer savings available. Here’s how to save money during summer on things like the cost of running your air conditioning and other household tasks.

Tame the air conditioning beast

Air conditioning is among the largest summer expenses for individuals and families who live in large, insufficiently shaded or insulated homes. Thankfully, there’s an obvious solution that doesn’t require much discomfort: Turn it off on cool evenings and before you go to bed. Dress down, open some windows, use a floor fan or even a swamp cooler. Watch the weather report for cooler days.

If you must use air conditioning, set the temperature a bit higher, even close to 80. According to the U.S. Energy Information Association, the average cost of electricity per kilowatt hour is 11.09 cents in U.S. residential areas so far this year. The savings can add up to a lot.

Another thing to consider is cleaning your air conditioner filters. A dirty filter makes your air conditioner less efficient, which in turn leads to increased cooling costs. A professional HVAC inspection, which usually costs around $75, can also ensure that your A/C is running at maximum efficiency.

Cook out and cool down

When you run an indoor stove, excess heat seeps out and stays in the house. Rather than turning up the heat on your cooling bills, try using an outdoor barbecue more often during summer.

Hang them out to dry

Hanging clothes on a line to dry may seem like a hallmark of a bygone age, but it can be a great way to save money during summer. While not everyone has the space or surroundings to take advantage of this technique, the summer savings are a slam dunk when available, as sunlight doesn’t cost a thing.

This is the a where warm summer breezes can work wonders on your electric bill, as running a 4,400-watt electric dryer two hours per day, 20 days per month can cost $252 per year when rates hit 12 cents per KWH. Even if hanging clothes out to dry isn’t an option, try using a dryer’s lower settings for garments that aren’t difficult to dry.

Summer sales that bear fruit

If you’re a DIY home-and-garden type, you know that prices tend to be higher early in the season. If you can wait until later in the summertime, season ending sales on landscape plants, tools and other materials tend to pop up. When others are thinking autumn and staying indoors, you can think summer savings.

Seal the cracks and save

A recent report by EnergyStar.gov found that proper home insulation – such as caulking and weather-stripping – can save up to 20 percent on electricity costs annually. If you go the distance and aim for the energy efficiency federal tax credit, you can save up to $1,500 each year.

Saving money on summer camps for kids

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P51mAxnaasQ

Sources

About.com

Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency

Saving Electricity

U.S. Energy Information Association

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