Summer is coming, or has already come, and you are now trying to figure out how to save on electric bill in summer.
This is a crucial step towards reducing your expenses and keeping more money for yourself and for your loved ones.
Small actions that might not cost you money, or might cost you a small investment, can help you significantly lower your summer electric bill in your apartment, house, office or workshop.
And that’s why I have written this comprehensive list, of which you can take advantage this summer.
25 Practical Ways to Save Money on Electric Bill in Summer
1 – Use Sunshades Outside & Window Blinds or Curtains Inside
Since cooling is one of the biggest electricity consuming loads during summer, then eliminating or reducing the need of using the cooling systems can reduce the electricity bill during summer months.
You can do this by installing sun shades on the outside of the windows in order to avoid the direct sunlight to hit the windows and heat the air inside and heat it up.
At the same time, these sunshades won’t prevent the natural sunlight from entering the room so that you use it instead of using electric lighting units.
For the unused rooms, if you can just close the window shutters, that would be perfect.
And if you can’t install external sunshade, then the best alternative would be using window blinds or curtains on the inside of the window.
2 – Plant Outside Windows
If you have space outside the windows, then maybe you should consider planting some trees or plants in order to prevent the direct sunlight from hitting the windows and transmitting the heat inside the house or apartment.
That would prevent heating the air inside, but at the same time, it won’t prevent natural light from entering and lighting up the space.
And don’t worry about winter in case of trees, as the leaves would fall during autumn, which allows the sunlight to enter the space and help in warming up the place, which helps in reducing electric bill in winter.
3 – Natural Air Drift & Cooling with a Solar Chimney
A solar chimney is a complete system that is usually installed at houses or buildings that would help use the natural air drifts and the coolness of the underground in order to cool down spaces naturally without using electric air conditioners.
(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
The way this is done by using a black painted chimney that is installed on the roof, which absorbs heat from the sun, which heats up the air inside the chimney and causes it to move upward naturally as the hot air is light compared to cool air.
This will cause suction to the air from inside the place to all the way up the chimney.
Then this air would be replaced by cold air through a pipe that is installed underground, with two openings, one end somewhere outside the house or building where it gets air from the atmosphere, and the other end is inside the place where it gives the air to the space.
The pipe will act as a heat exchanger that cools the air down after taking it from the outside since the underground soil is usually cooler, which cools down the pipe that finally cools down the air moving in it to the inside.
If installing the underground pipe is a not possible, then maybe you can only open the damper of the fireplace, with opening one or more of the windows, and see if the air started moving inside the house naturally, instead of using the ceiling fans.
4 – Use Mini USB Cooling Fans
If it is not too hot, but you still need to use electricity to in order to cool it down, then you may consider using a small USB fan that can be connected to a laptop or PC, or to any USB outlet, and it can move the air around you and give you some comfort instead of using a big fan that consumes more energy or an air conditioner that cools down the whole room.
This can be great for saving money on electric bill in offices and workplaces during the hot weather, and even can help lower electric bills in houses and apartments during summer.
5 – Use Evaporative Coolers
If it is too hot then fans might not always help and you need a device that actually cools down the air, then evaporative coolers would be a much less energy-consuming alternative.
Different from air conditioners that use the refrigeration cycle to cool down the air, evaporative coolers or humidifiers force the air to move through a set of water-soaked pads, which causes the water to evaporate and humid the air before pushing it into the room.
This causes less consumption of energy during summer compared to using central AC units, thus, lowering down the electric bill.
Important to note that you should not be using evaporative coolers in areas with high humidity levels as it will further increase the humidity there, which can negatively affect the human health and comfort level.
6 – Energy Star Cooling Devices
If you still need to use and air conditioner, then consider using Energy Star certified AC units, which means that these units have met strict energy efficiency guidelines that were set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
These units should help you save on electric bill during summer in apartments, houses, and even workplaces.
7 – Turn off AC When Not Used, or Use Smart Thermostat
Many people keep the air conditioners switched on even in spaces or rooms that are not being used.
Consider turning the AC off in any place that is not occupied at the moment, and ignore the false conception that makes you think that it’s cheaper to keep an AC on all the time instead of switching it on and off based on the need, because it’s incorrect.
If you keep forgetting the air conditioner on when you leave the place where it is used, then you may consider using a programmable thermostat that allows you to schedule the operation hours and preset temperature degrees in advance for all the days, thus, making sure that you don’t waste money on unnecessary cooling during summer.
8 – Clean Air Conditioning Outlets & Filters
Unclean filters and air grills can cause the fans of the AC units to run harder for longer periods of time in order to give cool air that would finally cool down the place to the desired degree.
This causes more electricity consumption during summer.
That’s why you should consider cleaning grills and filters, or replacing them on regular basis as per the manufacturer recommendations and depending on the utilized area and the usage, in order to lower energy consumption by AC units in summer.
9 – Cool to a Comfortable Level, Not to Freeze
Many people tend to force the AC units to work on the maximum load all the time by setting the desired temperature at the lowest degree that the unit allows, which could be 62°F or 16°C.
But that’s unnecessary as you could feel comfortable at a degree that is hire than that.
The comfortable level of temperature indoors is 68°-74°F or 20°-23°C.
Trying to cool down to lower than these levels causes huge increase in energy bill without any added value to the comfort level of the occupants of the place.
10 – Cool Down Used Spaces & Keep Doors Closed, or Use Air Curtains
Many people switch on the air conditioning units all over the place even in rooms where they don’t go, and sometimes, they keep the doors open between rooms that are being cooled with AC and other rooms.
Consider only turning the AC on in the places where you need to be for long period of time, and keep the doors closed between the room being cooled down and other rooms even when you need to leave and come back for one minute as the cool air finds it every easy to leave when the door is open and causes the AC unit to work longer in order to bring the temperature down to the previous level again.
And if there’s a space between the door and the floor, then consider using door sweeps in order to prevent the cool air from creeping to the outside of the room as cold air is heavy compared to hot air, and it always looks for low outlets to escape from.
If you have a space that you need a door to be kept open for long time, or a door that is used frequently by many people, such as an office or a reception area entrance, then you may consider installing an air curtain that would create like a barrier between the two sides of the door and help prevent the air from moving between the two zones.
11 – Clean Fridge & Water Cooler’s Coils
Just like AC filters, the fridge’s coils and the water cooler’s coils need regular cleaning as the accumulation of dust and other material on them causes the heat exchange efficiency to go down, thus, causing the compressors of these appliances to work harder for longer time in order to maintain lower temperature for food and water.
12 – Check & Fix The Insulation for Windows, Doors, & Walls
If your windows, doors or walls have any gaps that with the outside environment, or even between the different zones of the place, then this is a major cause of letting the cold air escape from the cooled zone to other places, and therefore, requiring more energy to cool down the place again.
Check the frames of the windows and doors for any possible gaps and try to fix them with the proper material.
If the windows or doors don’t close completely leaving some space for the cold or to go out and the hot air to creep in, then fix them.
And check out the insulation of the walls between the inside and the outside, and between the different rooms, as the missing insulation causes the walls to transmit heat to the cooled area.
Having a proper insulation in the first place is the best way to reduce the need of operating cooling appliances for long hours, and therefore, reducing the cooling bill during summer.
13 – Do What You Can During The Daylight Hours
Try to use the long summer days in order to do whatever tasks that require lighting during the day using the natural lighting, and leave the evening hours to do stuff that don’t need lighting such as working on your laptop, watching TV, …etc.
14 – Wash & Iron in Bulk
During summer, you would change clothes much more frequently that you would do in winter, especially if you do a lot of physical activity, which might cause you to run the washing machine more often in order to get your clothes cleaned again.
This might sometimes mean that you operate the washing machine on half load instead of full load, which finally leads you to consuming more electricity than necessary, as turning the washing machine on would use almost the same amount of energy whether it was half-loaded or fully-loaded.
To avoid this issue, try only turning the washing machine on only when fully loaded in order to lower the electricity consumption during summer.
And the same applies to the dishwasher where it is preferred to use it only with full loads in order to save money on electricity and water bill.
Also, when you want to iron your clothes, you better combine all of them and iron them on one setting, instead of batches, as the iron consumes electricity everytime you turn it on in order to heat up to the level you need it to start ironing.
15 – Dry Naturally (Laundry, Dishes, Food)
Drying clothes with the electric dryers consumes electricity, and the same applies with heat drying dishes through the dishwasher.
Consider hanging the laundry on drying racks and leaving the dishes and cutlery to dry naturally instead, and the hot or warm weather during summer would help you save money on electricity.
16 – Use Solar Cooker
If you were using an electric cooker, or even gas cooker, you may consider getting a solar cooker in order to make use of the direct sunlight to help you cook your food in the balcony or in the garden.
This way, you can reduce electric bill in summer whether you live in an apartment or in a house.
Make sure before you get a solar cooker that you have a space to place it where the direct sunlight is available for enough hours in order to make good use of it.
One of the most popular solar cookers is the All Season Solar Cooker, where the “Camper” is large enough in order to hold a complete turkey roaster and is powerful enough to roast the turkey as well as an indoor oven.
17 – Replace Lighting
Because summer nights are long, you may keep the lights on for long hours, indoors and outdoors.
This is why you should consider replacing the current lighting units with more efficient ones.
LED unit lights consume far less energy than fluorescent and incandescent lamps in order to give the same amount of lighting, and they have longer lifespan.
This is when it comes to indoor lights.
Also, consider switching off the lights when you are done from the place where they are turned on.
And if there’s a place where people keep leaving the lights on, like a corridor, a bathroom or a kitchenette at a workplace, then consider using thermal sensors that would turn on and off the lights at that area automatically by detecting the presence or absences of people.
18 – Use Solar Lights
And when it comes to outdoor lighting, you may consider getting solar outdoor lights that can use the sun during the day in order to charge a built-in battery, which would then light up the LED lighting units inside it for up to 8-10 hours during the nights of summer, resulting in a much lower electricity bill at the end of the month.
19 – Use Electric Bike with Solar Charger
If you are using an electric bike to move around, which saves money on the gas bill instead of using a gas bike, then you may also consider saving on electricity by getting a solar charger for your e-bike, which you can use during the long hours of summer days.
Even if you don’t have an electric bike and you only use your car, then you may consider buying one with a portable solar charger like the BAKCOU 200 Watt Solar Panels, which is getting more popular over time, and it is available to buy online through many websites like ebikegeneration.com.
20 – Solar Electric Car Charger
If you have an electric car and you charge it from the utility company through an electric socket, then you may also consider installing an EV solar charging station, so that you charge your car with it when your are not driving during the day.
And if you don’t stay most of the daytime at home or wherever your solar charging station is, then you may need to install a battery like Tesla Powerwall that can store the generated energy during the day, until you plug-in your car to it in order to charge it during the night hours.
21 – Solar Charger for Cameras & Video Doorbells
Video doorbells and cameras use electricity all the time, and since they are installed outside, then why not use the sun to power them up.
There are many models and brands of such items sold online, such as the Ring Solar Panel for cameras, and the solar charger for the Ring Video Doorbell, which have thousands of positive reviews by users on Amazon.
22 – Heat Reflective Glass Films or Double-Glazing Windows
Double glazing windows are windows that come with two plates of glass in parallel, with a spacing between them that is filled with the Argon gas, which provides thermal insulation between the two sides of the window and helps in keeping the indoor space cool.
Such windows can help significantly reduce the electric consumption in summer, but replacing the current windows with double-glazing ones might not be easy sometimes, especially if you don’t own the place but you only rent it.
Or even if you own the place but you don’t have the budget to replace the windows.
In this case, then the alternative would be using heat reflective films on the windows that can be installed on the glass of the windows in order to provide some protection against the heat coming from direct sunlight, which minimizes the need to use the air conditioners to cool down the place.
These can be removed later.
23 – Install Wind Turbines & Solar Panels
Solar panels have become more popular over the years, and they are getting more efficient, cheaper, and financially feasible as the days go.
Consult a specialized solar panel installation firm or contractor for the possibility and feasibility of installing a solar PV system for your house, building, or shop, and the ability to connect it to the grid and giving the utility company electricity during the day more than your consumption, so that you withdraw from them during the night, and the smart meter will read both ways and will calculate the difference so that you only get charged for the extra usage.
Another option, in case that you don’t have enough space to install a sufficient solar panel system that would generate all of your needs of electricity, you may consider installing a small wind turbine that generates electricity during the day or night, as long as there’s wind, and connect it to the grid in the same way as it is with the solar system if that’s an option.
There are many specialized companies like Arcadia that can install a residential wind turbine for you.
24 – Solar Water Heaters
As you need to shower or bath a lot during summer, you need a lot of hot water, and using electricity or gas for heating water is costly.
A better alternative is to install solar water heating panels that can give you hot water even with low levels of lighting without the direct sunlight hitting the pipes or panels all the time.
25 – Regulate Usage Hours
Some electricity companies use tariff structures that rely on the timing of the consumption and charge higher fees per kWh consumed during certain hours (called peak hours), or during all the night hours.
Not being aware of this might cause you consuming a lot of electricity during these hours and paying an extra on the electric bill without realizing it.
Check out your bill if it shows any details, or your meter if it reads more than one reading, or call the company or visit their website to see more details.
If you find out that there is a peak hour tariff, or day/night tariff structure, then consider shifting the most of your activity that requires using electricity to outside the hours when you get charged more.
Doing this, can significantly decrease your electric bill in summer and help you save money.
Recommended for US Homeowners:
Conclusion – Can You Lower Electric Bill in Summer?
Sure. I gave you above 25 applicable ways for saving money by lowering electric bill in summer in apartments, houses, and workplaces.
See what methods work best for you, and the ones that you afford to invest in for the long-term gains, and do them.
And if you still need any help or have any question regarding anything I mentioned in this article, please, let me know in the comments’ section below and I will do my best to help you out asap