Four energy tweaks you can make in warmer weather to save up to $1,295 on your bill

ONE American household spends an average of more than $2,000 each year on utilities.

This spending is not usually split evenly by month, as families spend the most during the coldest winter months and the warmest summer months.

Even small changes to your thermostat can result in savings.


Even small changes to your thermostat can result in savings.Photo credit: Getty Images – Getty

As temperatures begin to rise, there are a few things you can do to lower your energy bills for the warmer months of the year.

Even small changes to your energy use can save you hundreds of dollars by the fall.

1. Limit Air Conditioning Use – $128-$252

Air conditioning is great in the warmer months, but it’s one of the biggest contributors to high energy bills.

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The US Energy Information Administration found in 2018 that air conditioning accounts for 12% of energy use and 17% of electricity use in the average home.

The average window air conditioner costs between seven and 20 cents an hour, while a larger central air conditioner costs about 36 cents an hour.

On the other hand, a typical ceiling fan uses about a cent of energy every three hours.

A ceiling fan running nonstop for a month would cost about $2.40, while even the cheapest air conditioner running just eight hours a day would cost about $16.80 in a month.

In warmer parts of the country, eliminating AC usage entirely isn’t a viable solution, but sticking to fans whenever possible can save hundreds in the spring and summer.

2. Tinker with the thermostat – $40-$60

While keeping an eye on the temperatures in your home, you should make sure your thermostat isn’t wasting energy unnecessarily.

Turning your thermostat down in winter is a common tip to save some money on utilities, but you can do the opposite in summer for the same effect.

The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat at 78° when you’re at home and 85° when you’re away.

You really can have the temperature as high as you like, but raising it while you’re away can save about 10% on your bill.

That means the average household saves about $10 a month during the spring and summer.

3. Replace your windows – $27 to $583

Although your windows do not consume any energy themselves, your windows play an important role in your utility bill.

Conventional windows let tons of heat into the house in spring and summer, through the panes themselves and uninsulated cracks.

If you have single pane windows, switching to Energy Star qualified windows can save you between $101 and $583 each year.

Homes with double-glazed windows can expect to save anywhere from $27 to $197 on their annual bill.

This change can benefit you year-round, as typical windows let in the cold even in winter, forcing homeowners to turn up the heat and spend more.

Of course, you’ll face upfront costs for replacing your windows, but it can save you money in the long run.

4. Lower the temperature of your water heater – $36 to $400+

Most water heaters are set at 140°, but can run at lower temperatures for a lot less money.

According to the US Department of Energy, reducing the temperature of your water heater is one of the easiest ways to lower your bill and can result in massive savings.

At 140°C, a standby water heater loses about $36-$61 worth of heat each year.

Not only will lowering the heat lower your bill, but the Department of Energy estimates you can save more than $400 on usage by using slightly cooler water.

The amount you can save depends on how much water you use washing, dishwashing and showering, but it’s clear that lowering the temperature can be profitable.

The Department of Energy even offers a step-by-step guide to lowering the temperature of your water heater.

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For more inspiration on how to cut your energy bills, read how a family of four cut their bills in half.

And find out how much you can save just by turning off the light.

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