Summer already has far too many expenses: child care, vacation costs, higher gas prices and air conditioning all add up to challenge your budget. Though this does mean you should be careful, summer doesn’t mean missing out on your favorite activities. Even something as simple as watching your utility bill can make financial room for fun all season long.
Maintain Your A/C System by cleaning the ducts and changing the filter early in the summer. This increases efficiency and lowers your costs.
Cover Sun-ward Windows using as dark a shade as possible. At night, open and cover east-facing windows to get cool air flow without the warming sunlight.
Water Your Lawn Sparingly, every other day as an absolute maximum. Even consider some zero-watering options like xeriscaping or native plants that do well in summer heat.
Cover Your Pools and Spas to avoid evaporation. This means less re-filling and less water use.
Keep a Pitcher of Water in the Fridge to avoid running the tap until the water gets cold every time you fill a glass.
Cook Outdoors to prevent your stove from fighting a heat war with your air conditioning. Besides, nothing says “summer” like a backyard barbecue.
Take Trips to local indoor activities like museums or the library during the hottest hours of the day. Let those facilities foot the bill to keep you cool.
Create Air Flow With Fans by placing one near an open window or air-conditioning vent, and another at the other end of the house blowing air outward. This makes a tunnel of cool air running through your house.
Use The Dishwasher; it actually takes less water than washing by hand. The insulation on your unit will also keep the heat from radiating into the rest of the house.
Fill Your Fridge with bulk shopping runs. The more food that’s in there, the less work it has to do to keep the food cold.
Turn Up the Thermostat into the low 70s. If you think that’s too warm, consider the fact that you probably though 68 was too cold all winter long.
Water at Night, between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. This minimizes evaporation so you can water your lawn with as little H2O as possible.
Install Weather Strips on doors and windows to reduce heat leakage. This pays off dividends come winter, too, by keeping the warm air indoors.
Photo Credit: stevendepolo