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How to Save on Your Monthly Energy Bill in the Heat of Summer

Apartment Living
When it comes to personal finance, there are some expenses that are out of your control. One thing you can affect, however, is your utilities bill. The choices you make every day are reflected in that bill you get each month. If you’re looking to cut costs this summer, consider these ways to lower your utility bill. Turn Off the AC When You’re Not Home During the summer, it can be tempting to overuse your home’s air conditioning. After coming home on a hot day, it can be nice to come home to a cool house. While that practice might be good for your personal comfort, one thing it’s not good for is your wallet. Whether you have a habit of purposefully keeping the air conditioning on when you’re not home, or you just tend to “set it and forget it,” make an effort to limit your air conditioning usage, starting with turning it off when you leave home. Instead, keep your curtains closed to prevent light and heat coming in. It won’t be the same as coming home to what seems to be an oversized refrigerator, but you’ll be saving money. Find Other Ways to Stay Cool Next, you can try to limit your dependency on air conditioning when you’re at home. Instead of relying on the AC unit to keep you cool, try some other ways to beat the heat. First of all, stay hydrated by drinking cold water throughout the day. A glass of ice-cold water goes a long way. You can also cool down by dressing appropriately. While you’re probably not lounging around in your work clothes once you come home for the day, you can ensure a cooler evening by dressing in lightweight, breathable fabrics. Avoid clothes made of synthetic fibers, and stick to cotton instead. If all else fails, take a quick, cold shower to bring your body temperature down. Watch Other Problem Areas Although you’ll save yourself a bit of trouble by cutting back on your heating and cooling related utilities, there are other ways you can be cutting costs. Take a good look at your habits at home and see if there are other places you can improve. For example, do you tend to leave lights on when you leave a room, or worse, when you leave your home? Could you be taking shorter showers? Do you run the dishwasher when you it’d be more efficient to wash your dishes by hand? All of these little habits might not seem like much, but when when taken together throughout the entire month, they add up. Understand Where You’re Spending Your Money You’re less likely to be successful in saving money on your utilities bill if you’re not really sure if your actions are having an impact. That’s why it’s important–if you really want to see some monthly savings–that you actively monitor your utility statements and see first-hand which areas you need to improve upon. If you really want to be effective, consider keeping a daily or weekly journal of your utility habits; you could make notes of how long you run the AC, how many times you use the dishwasher, and how long your showers are. While this might seem a little excessive, it’s really the best way to see which changes are most effective in bringing down your utility bill. All it takes is a little initiative and some changes in habit to see savings on your utility bills. While you shouldn’t expect huge savings, you might be surprised in the small chunk of extra cash you’re left with at the end of the month.