Warm weather welcome, higher electric bills – not so much.

Rising electricity prices are leading many homeowners and renters to investigate ways to reduce their electricity bill. Especially during those summer months where temperatures are highest, electricity bills can creep even higher.

The average summer month electricity bill is $137, a staggering 20% increase from the year-round monthly average of $115 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Especially if you’re in the south where hot, humid weather can lead to increased energy consumption and therefore higher electricity bills, you may want to take advantage of these ways to reduce your bill.

1. Keep it flowing

Sometimes it’s just that simple. Utilize your ceiling fans to enhance your air conditioning and air flow among your home. Stagnant air automatically feels warmer and turning on ceiling fans can provide four additional degrees of coolness. But don’t forget to turn them off when you leave the house to save energy! In the fairer weather months and climates, there is the option of natural ventilation via opening a window or door for a breeze of cool air. When that’s not an option, opening interior doors of your house to allow air movement between rooms, also helps to keep things cool.

2. Seal air leaks in your home

Filling spaces and gaps in your home, which is the process of air sealing, is more than worth it. Ensuring you have a good seal on windows, doors and air ducts can save some serious money. In fact, it’s been projected by the EPA to be around $350 a year. You’re paying for all of that cool air, be sure to keep it in your home where it belongs! Taking the time to insulate, plug, seal, calk and tighten things around your home can make all the difference in its efficiency. Insulation alone in areas like the attic or around recessed lighting and other light fixtures drastically improves trying to keep cool air in and reduce the amount seeping out, but all these tools together can make your home operate at top energy efficiency.

3. Curtains and blinds

It is no secret direct sun exposure can heat up a room and those beaming summer rays are no joke. All that beautiful natural light comes at a cost, and it’s to your wallet. On a sunny summer day, when light shines in your windows it can greatly heat the interior of your home, causing you to up that AC. Putting up window coverings such as curtains or blinds and keeping them closed throughout the day, especially where the sun hits, can keep heat out and cool air in. Black-out curtains specifically are known to reduce thermal loss by up to 25%, reducing energy bills year-round.

4. Dress for the weather

It might sound simple but dressing appropriately for the outside temperature even when indoors can keep your cooling usage in check. You might be comfy in your home in cold central air, long sleeves and bundling up under a comforter at night but adjusting your thermostat to the Department of Energy’s recommendation of between 75 and 78 degrees in the summer can save you up to 10 percent in energy costs each year. Make this even easier on yourself by installing a programmable thermostat.  Change into those tank tops and shorts and sleep with a lighter blanket to stay cool and comfortable while saving money.

5. Watch your water usage

How you use your water greatly affects your electricity bill, this includes both the amount you use and its temperature. One might be tempted on those hot summer days to cool down with cool water, whether it be a sprinkler for your kids or showers after a swim. Be conscientious of just how much you’re using for these purposes. How necessary is extremely hot water in the summer? With water heating accounting for about 18 percent of home energy usage according to the U.S. Department of Energy, this is an obvious opportunity for energy bill savings. Consider turning down your water heater tank thermostat in the summer, and taking slightly cooler showers and baths. Watching your appliance usage in the summer can also help. For example, don’t run the washing machine for small loads and avoid using the dryer as much as summer is the perfect time to line-cry clothing! Read other ways to save water in the summer, check out https://www.gosunpro.com/news/summer-energy-savings/.

These are just a few ways that energy-efficient home improvements combined with lifestyle changes and environmental considerations can all help reduce your electricity bill in the summer. Saving on your energy bill while doing your part to save mother earth is a win-win.

If you need help getting started, contact your energy-saving consultant and let the experts at Energypro provide a free energy audit of your home for potential energy-efficient upgrades that could save you hundreds.