National nonprofit credit counseling agency Take Charge America
provides easy tips to keep cool and save money as the temperature rises
PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Summer is synonymous with fun in the sun, road tripping and unwinding by
the pool. But climbing temperatures also mean higher electric bills –
and increased strain on the monthly budget.
“Increased energy use during the summer can cause utility costs to
skyrocket, deflating your plans to have fun or relax,” says Michael
Sullivan, a personal finance consultant with Take Charge America, a
national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency.
“With a few simple changes to your routine, you can keep summer costs
and stress to a minimum.”
Sullivan offers eight tips to reduce utility costs during the summer
Keep up with regular HVAC maintenance. Change the filter in
your air conditioner once a month and have it inspected annually to
identify any wear and tear that could cause performance issues.
Adjust your thermostat to meet your needs. When no one is home,
consider setting temperatures 7-10 degrees higher. When you are home,
set the thermostat at 78-80 degrees to keep comfortable.
Close up during the day. Add extra insulation against the heat
by closing blinds through the day. On cool nights, open up windows to
let in the breeze.
Consider running large appliances in the evening. Large
appliances put off heat. Running them at night allows your air
conditioner to work more efficiently during the day. Some energy
companies provide lower rates for off-peak hours, providing guidelines
to help you reduce your energy bill.
Wash your laundry in cold water and always wash full loads.
According to General Electric, between 75 and 90% of your washer’s
energy use goes to heating water. Reducing the number of loads you
wash – and washing them in cold water – can make a major impact on
your monthly bill.
Keep oven use to a minimum. Meal prepping and no-cook meals
save time, require less energy usage throughout the week and keep your
home cooler. You can also grill and cook outside while the weather is
Set your water heater to 120 degrees. The default setting on
most water heaters is 140 degrees. Turning your heater down 20 degrees
is still plenty hot, and it can save 6-10% per year in energy costs
according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s also smart to
insulate your water heater to prevent heat loss and lower energy use.
Seal doors, windows and other openings. Replace damaged or
missing weather stripping around doors and windows. Add insulation
anywhere your home could be losing energy, such as openings around
pipes. This keeps hot air from entering and improves air conditioner
For more tips to save money and get out of debt, visit www.takechargeamerica.org
or call (866) 528-0588.
About Take Charge America, Inc.
Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a nonprofit agency
offering financial education and counseling services including credit
counseling, debt management, student loan counseling, housing counseling
and bankruptcy counseling. It has helped nearly 2 million consumers
nationwide manage their personal finances and debts. To learn more,
or call (888) 822-9193.