Save During the Summer
Summer is on its way, which means the weather outside is about to get a lot warmer. Florida residents already rely on air conditioning quite a bit, and with summer drawing closer you may find yourself cranking the air up even higher. While this will help you stay cool, the excess energy use will also make your electricity bill jump up quite a bit.
If you want to stay cool during the summer, and keep your electric bill from skyrocketing while you are at it, try using these tips and tricks.
1. Lower A/C & Dress Light
Air conditioning is essential during the summer, especially in Florida, thanks to the extreme heat. However, relying on it too much is not advisable. Lowering the temperature too much will send your air conditioner into overdrive, and you will find yourself paying a lot more money on your next electric bill. Your air conditioner might even get damaged if you use it too much.
Try raising the temperature every once in a while to ease up on your energy consumption. Even the slightest change in temperature can have a significant impact on your electric bill each month. To counteract the heat, make sure you dress lightly by wearing a short-sleeved shirt and shorter pants.
2. Circulate Air With Your Ceiling Fan
If you need to stay cool in your apartment, there are other tools you can rely on besides the air conditioner. If you have an overhead ceiling fan in your apartment, take advantage of it. Ceiling fans produce a decent amount of cool air, and if you leave yours on for a little while you can knock the temperature down a few degrees in your apartment.
In addition, fans are also able to circulate the air around them. Use this to your advantage by opening your windows on a cool summer night. After doing this, turn the fan on so you can circulate the cold air. Circulating air in your apartment will also prevent mold from growing.
3. Keep Vents Clear & Change Filters
For apartment owners that have central air, you need to make sure that nothing is obstructing any of your vents. If the vents are being blocked, the apartment will stay warm, and you will feel the need to lower the temperature even further. Take a look around and make sure no pieces of furniture are blocking these vents.
Vents also tend to collect dust, and that can cause them to get clogged. If you spot dust in the vests, use a duster or a rag to clean them out. Be sure to change the vent filters every once in a while so the air conditioning runs at peak efficiency.
4. Adjust A/C While You Are Out
If you are planning to head out of your apartment for a little while, there is no need to keep the central air running at high power. Knock down the power of your air conditioning before you leave to cut down on energy consumption. If the temperature is cooler outside, consider turning off the air altogether, at least until you get back.
5. Close Your Blinds
Normally, you should keep your blinds open so you can take advantage of the natural light offered by the sun. During the summer, however, the sun’s rays are exceptionally strong, and when the blinds are kept open for a long time your house or apartment can heat up quickly.
Try to keep the blinds closed throughout the day so you can keep the place at a reasonable temperature. When the apartment stays cool, you do not have to keep the air conditioning cranked up at all times.
6. Try Using Your Lights Less
During the summer there will be a fair share of scorching days, and you will need to crank up the air conditioning when those days arrive. To balance out the amount of energy you are using, you should try keeping the lights off in your apartment during the day.
Even with the blinds closed, you can get plenty of natural light in your apartment during the summer, so try to keep the lights turned off while the sun is still out. If you are not using a particular room, turn off the lights so energy is not being burned behind your back. Lastly, check to make sure all the lights stay off if you plan to head out for a few hours.
7. Only Cook at Certain Times
Some of you may already know this, but many cooking appliances, like ovens, release a lot of heat when they are opened. This can help keep your apartment warm during the winter, but during the summer this can be a huge detriment.
Try waiting until after the hottest period of the day has passed before you cook something in your oven. In addition, try waiting until after the sun has gone down before you prepare dinner. This will keep excess heat from building up in your apartment, and your air conditioner will not have to work as hard to cool the place down.
8. Change Your Laundry Routine
A few simple adjustments to your laundry routine can also help reduce your energy costs during the summer. Try using cold water to wash your clothes, since it requires more energy to prepare warm water. Of course, you should always make sure that you fully load up your washing machine so you can maximize each use of it.
You should also try to dry your clothes outside if you have the chance to do so. The summer heat is more than enough to dry your clothes after you have washed them, and you will not have to waste energy turning on the dryer.
9. Find Some Shade
If you want to stay cool during the summer without turning on the A/C, try looking for some shade outside. Take a walk during the evening and look for a nice, cool place where you can kick back for a little while.
Apartment communities have plenty of benches lying around, and you may be lucky enough to find one set up under a large tree. If there are no benches, feel free to sit directly under the tree so you can stay out of the sun.
10. Unplug Inactive Devices
A common way to save energy throughout the year is to unplug any devices that are not in use. Any device or appliance that is plugged into an outlet can still burn energy, even if it is not being used at that point in time.
Consider purchasing a power strip that you can plug multiple devices into. That way, you can simply flick the switch off and turn them all the devices off at once when you are done using them. This is a surefire way to save a few dollars on your energy bill when you have to keep the air conditioner running.
Need some more tips on how to get through the summer in Florida?