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5 Ways to Lower Your Summertime Energy Bills

Lower Your Summertime Energy Bills

The seasons are changing. We’re all putting away our winter clothing and hopefully you’ve taken down the winter holiday decorations a while ago. With the seasonal changes, we start to adjust how we interact with our thermostat.

Suddenly, the heating that was so important is what we are running from. As we chase comfortable, cool home temperatures, we might see a rise in our energy bills. From blasting the AC and other factors, you could see your energy bill increase by about 10% in the summer.

But there are plenty of ways to reduce your energy bill in the summer. With these five easy-to-do tricks, you could save money and see your energy usage go down. With all the money saved on your energy bill, you could fund another fun summer adventure.

Use Fans

A common habit for many homeowners is to rely exclusively on the air conditioning from your HVAC system. But there’s a fixture in many homes that can provide cooling and air flow for a fraction of the energy usage: your fans.

To start with, fans are cheaper than air conditioning. By using fans instead of the air conditioning, you’ll save about 40% on your electricity bill. That’s some noticeable savings that should get you excited about turning on the fan.

Fans will also maximize the airflow. You know how hot and sticky those summer days and nights can get. With a fan, you’ll not only get about a four-degree difference in temperature, you’ll keep the air moving so it’s not such a warm, sticky, uncomfortable feeling in your home.

For added cooling with your fans, plae a bowl of ice in front of a standing fan or desk fan. This is a great hack in the event your air conditioning breaks and you can’t get the HVAC contractors out quickly. Even if your air conditioning is working, this hack will keep you from turning it down, using more energy, and ultimately paying more. 

Lower Water Heating Costs

How soothing is a warm shower? For many of us, the act of lounging in the shower with the hot water rushing over us is a luxurious self-care routine we don’t want to sacrifice. However, that hot water could be jacking your energy bill higher and higher.

Your hot water accounts for about 18% of the energy you use in your home. It goes beyond the warm shower. It also includes the laundry and dishwasher. In fact, the annual cost of a washing machine and dryer is about $115.

Instead, you can turn your water heater temperature down. And instead of a soothing, warm shower on a hot summer day, learn to love a cool, invigorating shower. Rather than washing your clothes in the hottest setting, choose a lower one. All these little changes make a difference totalling hundreds of dollars of savings. 

Programmable Thermostat

How much do you mess with your thermostat? Do you have house rules about who can adjust it? Do you find yourself constantly keeping an eye on the clock to know when to turn your thermostat down or adjust the settings to save money? You can save yourself a ton of money and stress by simply investing in a programmable thermostat.

With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature for your home to automatically adjust for when you’re home, away, or asleep. By programming it to turn your system off or down when you aren’t home or when you’re sleeping, you’ll be able to better enjoy the cool temperatures when you’re home because you know you’re saving in the other times.

And the impact of a programmable thermostat has been verified. In one estimate, every degree your thermostat is raised is the equivalent of a 4-8% savings on the cost to cool your home.

Another study found that every degree you set your thermostat above 75-degrees is equal to about 10-15% on your energy usage. This translates to dollars in your wallet and more money to play with this summer.

A good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat no lower than about 78 to 80-degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep your house at a manageable temperature when you include other cooling tools like fans and extra ventilation by opening the windows. 

Block Sunlight

It’s huge. It’s hot. It beats down on us and can be either a warm huge or a burning oven. The sun is the characteristic of summer. With longer days, more sunlight, and by association, more heat, blocking the sun from heating your home as much as you can is crucial in keeping down your cooling costs.

Luckily, the houseplant hobby has taken a huge leap since 2020. With many people turning to houseplants as a way to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, adding houseplants to your home is not only very Instagram-worthy, it’s also a way to block the sun from your windows.

For indoor houseplants, consider hanging a few in your windows. While this won’t block out much sunlight, it will make a difference. You can also place larger floor plants in front of your windows for the same sun-blocking effect.

Using plants to block the sunlight isn’t exclusively an idea for the inside of your home. You should carefully consider where you place your outdoor landscaping plants, as well.

The goal of your outdoor plants should be to block the sun during the hottest hours of the day. Try planting shrubs and trees on the south and west sides of your house. This will work to block the direct rays of the sun that will do the most to heat your home, leading you to crank up the air conditioning.

If you have an HVAC unit outside, pay attention: plants could save you money and make your HVAC unit more efficient. In fact, some reports have said that planting shrubs, bushes, and trees around your HVAC unit to shade it during the day will make your HVAC unit about 10% more efficient.

Aside from the greenery that you can add to your home, you should also consider window treatments. There are a couple that will make a big improvement in how much your home heats during the day. 


Regardless of the style of blinds, the color, or how much you spend on them, blinds are able to reduce your heat gain by 45%, meaning how much heat your home gains during the day because of the sun simply hitting your house.


Although drapes might be a little more old fashioned in some styles, they can play a big role in reducing your heat gain. They've actually been shown to reduce your heat gain by about 35%. 

Window Film

By far one of the most popular options for homeowners today are the many options for window films. They allow you to enjoy some sun permeating into your home but still save you money and on your energy usage.

Window films have proven to reduce your heat gain, even while they allow in some sunlight and a view. The best part: these are typically an easy do-it-yourself project that you can finish in a day. 

Unplug Your Devices

You have a summer-time family movie night. You pop in your favorite movie with the jokes that have worked their way into your family’s every-day conversations. Maybe the youngest member of the family falls asleep in a nest of blankets and pillows. Popcorn is everywhere once the movie ends and you all pack up to go to bed.

But you’ve forgotten something. You’ve let a phantom into your home. More specifically, you’ve allowed a “phantom load” to emerge.

Experts say that about 75% of the energy used by your electronics comes from the time after they’ve been shut off, but remain plugged in. In the example of family movie night, you’ve left your TV plugged in. When you leave your computer, devices, and appliances plugged in after they’re done being used.

One option is to use a power strip. By plugging in your devices to the power strip, you can easily develop a habit of turning off and unplugging your power strip at night before you go to bed. In general, the less plugged in you are, the lower your electricity costs. 

What to Do Now

Before you apply any of these tricks and tips, consider having an energy audit and have your HVAC unit maintained. If you know your HVAC system is running like it’s supposed to, you’ll have the assurance that you are getting the most for your money.

Start by Googling “HVAC contractors near me.” An HVAC specialist can come inspect your HVAC unit for any maintenance or repairs that need to be done. An easier option is calling Buric Heating and Air Conditioning. Our licensed HVAC experts can make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly so you can stay cool all summer long.

Tired of fighting your energy bill? Call Buric Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule your HVAC maintenance today.