Here Comes the Sun: How to Save Electricity this Summer


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
I usually shred my electricity receipts at the end of every year, but even without my records, I know when I spend the most on electricity: during the summer. I usually spend more on electricity, because this is the season I keep my air conditioner on full blast. When it’s cold, I can put on extra layers of clothing, or use extra blankets (which is actually quite cozy). But when it’s hot, I have no other option but to turn up the a/c.

I recently decided I wanted to save on electricity, no matter the season. I took it as a challenge: is it possible to save on electric bills in summer? It absolutely is!

I’m sure other people are also looking for tips on how to save electricity in the summer. It’s not hard – all it takes is some ingenuity and a little bit of discipline. If you’re looking for ways to save on electric bills in summer, read on!

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“You Think This is a Game?!” Why, Yes It Is, Yes It Is.

Want to know how to save electricity during the summer? One of the best ways is to make a game out of it. Let’s face it: the concept of saving, whether it’s on electricity, water, or whatever recurring expense you have, isn’t exactly fun. And it’s easy to see why: saving on something like electricity usually means depriving yourself. But it doesn’t have to be (more on that later).

To ease to process a bit, I recommend turning it into a game. Everyone will have a different approach to this. As for me, I like to list down my accomplishments on a whiteboard. Accomplishments include stuff like “Use the a/c for less than an hour each day” or “Lower electricity bill to X amount for 3 months straight” or “unplug two appliances I’m not using.”

Doing this makes the process more fun, and gives me mini-goals to hit.

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Unplug Appliances When Not In Use

Switching off lights and appliances when not in use is common knowledge. But what isn’t common knowledge is that some appliances continue to draw power even after they’ve been switched off. I’ve become really vigilante when it comes to unplugging unused appliances (and so has the rest of my household). So much so that my friends like to joke about it when hanging out at my place.

Obviously, you can't unplug the fridge or remove your lightbulbs, but there are a lot of things you can unplug regularly, such as the microwave oven, any lamps, blow dryers, phone or laptop chargers when your gadgets are fully charged, or Bluetooth speakers.

Unplugging these items won’t cause a miraculous dent on your electric bill. But they do offer incremental savings. Do this often enough, and the savings will be more apparent. And every bit of savings counts.

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Decorate to Maximize the Cold (or Heat)

Back in college, I was lucky enough to have a unit that had two windows. I decorated and arranged my apartment to provide little obstruction between the two windows. What this does it let the cold air pass through my apartment, from one window to another. I also pull the drapes back to let the air in (more on that in the next item).

I also use dark linen when I want to stay warm, and light linen when I want to cool down a bit. That way, I keep the temperature at a comfortable level. Another method I like to utilize: minimizing visual clutter. I honestly don’t know whether this has an actual effect on the temperature of my apartment, but minimizing clutter makes the place feel airier, cooler.

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Switch Out Your Drapes

I mentioned drapes a while ago. The color of your drapes has a big effect on the temperature of your apartment or room. Drapes with light colors will let more light, and as a result, heat, into your home. Drapes with dark colors will let less light in, keeping the overall temperature lower. When summer comes around, I like to use my darker drapes. This absorbs more heat and keeps the place nice and cool.

Of course, it’s better to keep your window free of any obstruction, to let air circulate through your home. But at night, I do pull my drapes closed.

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Air Dry Your Clothes (and Hair!)

Another surprising thing that increases one’s electric bill: using the blow dryer. It was a bit hard for me to kick my blow dryer habit, but once I did, I ended up saving money on my electric bill. Instead of using my blow dryer, I reach for the towel to dry my hair (I have a separate towel I have just for my hair – I got swag like that). It takes a few extra minutes, but the money savings are more than worth it.

The same goes for doing the laundry. If you have enough space, you should try hanging your clothes to dry instead of using the spin drier. You’ll save money, and air drying your clothes will make them last longer. Spin drying can eat clothes alive.

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Lower the Thermostat of Your Fridge

My normal inclination is to crank my fridge all the way up to the maximum setting. But it turns out, I don’t need to keep it at the maximum temperature at all times (although I’m sure my power company appreciates it). I noticed water in the fridge stays near-freezing, even in the middle of summer.

So I lower the temperature a bit to save money on the electric bill. Doing so has another benefit: it keeps my vegetables from getting freezer burn. Veggies are pretty sensitive, and too much cold can be just as harmful as not enough cold.

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Don’t Deprive Yourself

I’ve learned that the more I deprive myself, the bigger the swing back. For example, if I stop myself from using the air conditioner, even for a few minutes, I always give in and keep the a/c on for the entire night. So the key to saving is controlled indulgence. I keep the a/c on for an hour, which is usually enough to keep me cool until I fall asleep.

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