The summer months provide us with many opportunities to curtail our energy usage and to take advantage of all that the warmer weather has to offer. The days are longer, we can spend more time outdoors, and we can take more advantage of sustainable choices for saving money. As we forge ahead into the dog days of summer, it’s important to be mindful about establishing good habits in order to keep our energy bills low and to conserve resources. As such, BMG Money wants to offer you seven tips for successfully saving money during the summer months.
- Make Strategic Use of Daylight
One of the best parts about the summer is the length of the days. Longer days mean that more sun and natural light can enter your home. Cut down on using indoor lighting, and instead rely on your curtains and blinds to regulate the amount of light that enters your home. Using your curtains and blinds, you can make your indoor space cooler while still providing enough natural light for all of your daytime tasks, thus curtailing energy costs.
- Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
If you are awake during the early morning hours before sunrise or similarly awake way beyond sunset, you will certainly be dependent on some form of artificial lighting. Consider replacing your traditional light bulbs with long-lasting, energy-efficient LED bulbs. For this to work initially, you do not need to do a complete overhaul of every light bulb in your home. However, you can carefully think about the rooms in which you spend the most time when it is dark and replace the bulbs of the indoor lighting sources that you use frequently. Making this investment now will continue to save you money on indoor lighting costs well beyond the summer and for years to come.
- Monitor Your Ventilation System
Ventilation systems are another common factor that contribute to high monthly energy costs during the summer. If you have an air-conditioning unit, have it inspected to make sure that it is in tip-top working condition. Maintain your thermostat under control, and when possible keep your air-conditioning unit on low or turned off when you are not home or spending time outdoors more frequently.
Furthermore, make sure to clean and replace any air filters in your home in order to encourage proper air flow and to keep your ventilation system from working on overdrive. Ceiling fans and box fans can also work to your advantage. These promote airflow and help you become less dependent on setting your indoor air temperature higher than it needs to be. It’s also convenient to check the evening weather forecast. Summer presents many opportunities for opening windows at night and allowing the cool evening air to filter through your home.
- Find More Ways to Unplug
The summer months should not have you tethered to electronic devices and trapped indoors. Try to reduce your dependence on electronic devices on a daily basis. Regulate the amount of time that you spend in front of the computer or the television set. Try to charge your phone only once per day. Summer is an excellent time to break your dependence on technology and to spend time outside with other people and enjoy the fresh air. Also, take the time to carefully assess your home for electronic devices and appliances that are plugged in and that are hardly, if ever, used. Unplug these unused devices as they are actually slowly leeching electricity out of your sockets, adding up to higher energy bills. You can even invest in energy-efficient power strips that can be switched off completely in order to cut back on costs.
- Spend More Time Outdoors
In general during the summertime, spending time outdoors will help you reduce many of your indoor energy consumption costs. Some household tasks like cooking and laundry, for instance, can be even further facilitated by the nice weather. Avoid turning on your oven or stove at dinnertime, which can cause your air conditioner to put in extra work. Instead, spend more time grilling outdoors and avoiding the kitchen to prepare hot meals. Similarly, for laundry, instead of using your clothes dryer, you can string a clothesline outside and naturally air-dry your linens in order to save money.
- Consider Your Gardening Habits
If you have a backyard, creating a garden for growing your own herbs and produce is an excellent way to reduce trips to the grocery store and to cut costs. If you do not have a backyard, small herb gardens can be grown indoors near well-lit windows. When it comes to watering your garden plants and your landscaping in general, always water your plants or lawn in the morning. During the early daylight hours, plants are more prone to proper water absorption. If you wait until the afternoon to water your plants, the harsh sunlight will cause more water to evaporate. This places limits on how much water your plants can actually absorb and ends up costing you more money.
- Travel Locally
If you are prone to summer traveling, think about ways that you can cut back on travel costs. There are plenty of unique options for summer entertainment in your own hometown and surrounding area. In general, you can take advantage of the nice weather to drive your car less frequently and pay less for gas. Ride a bike, walk, or rely on public transport to spend more time outdoors, get some extra exercise, and keep a few extra dollars in your wallet.
The best part about summer is that it encourages us to spend more time outdoors. When we are outdoors more frequently, we are able to reduce many of the expenses that our indoor habits create when the weather is cooler. In addition to spending time outside, carefully monitor your personal habits and your indoor space for further ways that you can curb your energy consumption and make more sustainable choices. You’ll save money in the long run, and you will instill some better habits that you can continue to use long after the summer sun begins to fade.
If you’re struggling financially, we encourage you to continue checking our finance blog for tips and tricks – as well as our Loans for All program. In certain situations, a BMG Money loan can assist in the road to in recovery from life’s little emergencies.