Thursday, July 14, 2016

9 Ways To Cut Your Summer Energy Costs

Homeowners often view utility costs as a necessary evil. No one likes paying their monthly utility bills, but we nonetheless rely heavily on our standard utilities such as water, electricity, gas, internet, TV, trash, etc. During the peak temperature extremes of summer and winter, certain utility bills (such as gas and electricity) can increase substantially. First Bank of the Lake is here to help you save some money this summer with these strategies for cutting back on energy costs.

1. Open Windows When Appropriate
If the temperatures are dropping to the upper sixties at night, consider turning off your central air and opening windows before going to sleep. As long as you close the windows and turn the air back on before it heats up again the next day, this can be a great way to reduce energy costs. 

2. Rotate Your Fans Correctly
Ceiling fans can be a massive energy-saver when they are used correctly. During the summer months, make sure your ceiling fans are rotating counter-clockwise. This will enable them to push air straight down, creating a cool breeze throughout your home.

3. Avoid Hot Appliances
When in use, your oven and stove can warm up your home and make your air conditioning have to work harder to cool it down. On especially hot days, save yourself this extra energy pull by cooking on the grill outside or using the microwave - or sticking with foods that don't need to be cooked at all.

4. Turn Off Lights When Not In Use
If you aren't in a room (or if there is still daylight outside), there is no reason to use the extra electricity required to keep the houselights burning. Switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs can be a smart move, too, but simply keeping your lights off when not in use may make a difference.

5. Set Your Thermostat As High As Comfortably Possible
If you find yourself sleeping under a pile of blankets at night or wearing a sweatshirt around your house in the evening, chances are good that you've got your thermostat set unnecessarily low. Set your thermostat as high as comfortable during the summer, and increase it by a few degrees during the afternoons when your family is away at work or school. There's no point in paying for colder air than necessary.

6. Lower The Blinds
If there is a lot of sunlight pouring into your home, your AC will have to work much harder to keep it cool. Lowering/closing the blinds or closing the curtains can make your air conditioning's job much easier (thus reducing your energy bill).

7. Replace The Air Filters
When is the last time you replaced the air filter in your HVAC system? Most heating and cooling experts recommend replacing your filter once per month during summer. If your filter is clogged or dirty, your system will have to work harder to pull air through it. This can raise your energy costs.

8. Unplug Electronics When Not In Use
Even if the power is off, certain appliances and electronics pull electricity and can contribute to a higher electric bill. Television sets, cable boxes, DVD players, phone chargers, modems, and computers are prime examples of electronic devices that pull electricity even when the power is off.

9. Set Your Hot Water Heater To 120°F
What is the thermostat in your hot water heater set to? If it's set higher than 120°F, you may want to consider lowering it. Most people rarely use water hotter than 120° - in fact, higher temperatures can result in scalding. There is no point in paying to heat your water to temperatures you cannot use.

Happy Saving!
By incorporating these energy-saving strategies into your daily life, you should be able to help lower your summer energy costs. Smaller energy bills in the summer mean more money leftover to dedicate towards retirement savings, summer vacations, education, or anything else you can imagine. If you are looking for a safe place to set up a savings account at the Lake of the Ozarks, we hope you'll consider First Bank of the Lake. We look forward to serving you!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway
Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

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