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As we get closer to the fall season (at least in the midwest), there are lots of things we’ll miss about summer: barbeques, warm nights, and sunny days at the pool or the beach. One thing we won’t miss and we bet you won’t either, though, are the higher electricity bills that come as a result of the air conditioning trying to keep up with those high-temperature days.

Today we’re sharing some tips that will help you lower your utility bill for the remaining days of summer and through the winter, as well. As an added bonus, most of these tips are also great for the environment! 

Use your air conditioner and furnace less. 

According to reports, heating and cooling are responsible for almost half of most people’s electricity use, so even small changes to your habits in this area can make a real impact on your monthly bill. Try using ceiling fans in place of AC units at least part of the time. During the winter, try using space heaters to heat only the room you’re in, rather than running the heat throughout the entire house. 

Installing energy-efficient windows will also help in this area. Heat gain and loss through windows can be responsible for up to 30% of heating and cooling use in our homes! These windows are definitely an investment, but they’ll be certain to pay for themselves over time. Be sure to keep your home well insulated as well.

Another great way to naturally cool your home during the summer months and take some of the load off of your air conditioner is to plant trees for shade. Research done by the Arbor Day Foundation shows that homeowners can save up to 20 percent a year on their energy bill by planting trees near their home. 

Upgrade those old appliances. 

While you may think it’s financially responsible to hold onto older appliances until they stop working completely, you could actually be losing money. That’s because an out-of-date appliance like a refrigerator is likely operating with aging parts, seals that have gone bad, and other outdated features that are causing it to run inefficiently. Plus, newer models have been manufactured to be more energy efficient. And don’t forget that you could get a tax break for using energy-efficient equipment in your home. 

Make the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. 

This is an easy one – did you know that running one LED light bulb in your house for a year costs about $21, while an incandescent light bulb will cost $131.40 (and will need to be replaced once a month while the LED bulb will likely last all year)? LED light bulbs have come down in price and you can start benefiting from the cost savings right away. If you have lights outside, like in your home garden, consider switching those to solar-powered lights with battery storage. 

Practice energy-saving habits in your home. 

Making small changes to how you live in your home from day to day can also make a substantial impact on your energy use, and therefore your monthly utility bill. 

One easy way to save energy is to always turn off the lights that you’re not using. When it comes to incandescent lights, this will also keep the room cooler which will help you save on cooling costs during the warmer months. 

In the same vein, unplugging small appliances like a toaster oven or coffee pot when you’re not using them can save you as much as 5% on your electricity bill

Another change to consider is hanging your clothes to dry rather than throwing them in the dryer. Bonus: your clothes will last longer, and you avoid the risk of a fire that comes with using a dryer. 

Implement just a few of these changes and not only will you see the difference on your utility bill, but you’ll also be living in a more energy-efficient and environment-friendly home. If you’re looking for additional ways to save money or protect your home, we would love to talk to you about your home insurance and make sure you have the right coverage at the right price. Please give us a call or fill out the form below to get started. 

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Author Tim Bauer

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