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8 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill This Summer

A man on his phone, a woman by a fan, and a drying rack

With temperatures (and energy costs) rising, your electric bill might feel a bit steeper than usual. Fortunately, there are many small changes you can make that add up to big savings. These practical, simple tips can help make a dent in your electric bill.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

Many people forget to turn off their heat and air conditioning when they leave the house or go to bed. This can run up your energy bills by using your system when you don’t really need it. Once you install a programmable thermostat in your home, you won’t have to manually adjust it anymore.

You can create separate schedules for days, nights, and weekends so you only run your HAVC system when you need it. By lowering your overall use, you can cut back on your costs and save money.

Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular as a way to control the heating and cooling of your home from your phone. They’re also becoming easier to install by yourself if you want to go the DIY route.

Honeywell Home Smart Thermostat

Keep your home cool on an energy-efficient schedule.

Change Your Light Bulbs

A man is on his phone and a couple dances in the kitchen

One of the easiest ways to save money on your electric bill is to change your light bulbs. LED bulbs are much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Although they may be a little pricey up front, you’ll save money in the long run by making the switch. LED bulbs are also very bright, so you won’t need to turn on as many lamps when it starts to get dark in the evening.


These 60W bulbs will work in most areas of the house.

Switch to ENERGY STAR Appliances

An Energy Star sticker sits inside a refrigerator next to two Coca-Colas.
The Image Party/Shutterstock.com

Appliances are a big part of your electric bill, so it makes sense to switch to energy-efficient models. ENERGY STAR appliances are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to use less energy than standard models.

You can find ENERGY STAR appliances in just about every category, from refrigerators and dishwashers to washers and dryers. Many manufacturers now produce ENERGY STAR appliances, so you have plenty of options to choose from.

Pure Enrichment® PureZone™ Elite True HEPA Large Room Air Purifier,

Improve your indoor air quality and save money.

Keep Your Vents and Filters Clean

When your vents and filters are clogged with dust, it makes your HVAC system work harder to circulate air. This not only wastes energy but can also lead to costly repairs down the road. To keep your system running smoothly, be sure to regularly clean your vents and replace your filters.

Best AC Filter

Filtrete Healthy Living AC Filters

These MERV 13 AC filters offer excellent filtration from a trusted brand.

You can clean your vents yourself with a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Just be sure to turn off your HVAC system before you start cleaning. Disposable air filters should be changed every one to three months and reusable filters should be cleaned every month, although you may need to clean or replace them more often if you have pets or allergies.

Use Fans More Often

Two people sit near fans

While air conditioning can be invaluable during hot times of the year, relying on your AC unit exclusively costs you a lot of money. Using fans is a great way to lower your electric bill while still staying cool.

Ceiling fans are particularly effective at circulating air and can make a room feel several degrees cooler. If you don’t have ceiling fans, floor fans are also a good option. And when you’re not using them, be sure to turn them off so they’re not wasting energy.

Turn Things Off

A person turns off a light switch.

We waste more energy than we realize by leaving on lights when we exit a room or even leaving appliances plugged in. It may not seem like a lot, but it all adds up. To lower your electric bill, make it a habit to turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them.

You can also save energy by unplugging devices that are plugged into outlets but not in use. Many appliances and devices continue to draw power even when they’re turned off if they’re still plugged in. This is known as “phantom power” and it can really add up when it comes to your electric bill.

If you have a hard time remembering to turn off appliances, try plugging everything into a power strip and turning that off instead. One thing is easier to remember than a bunch of individual appliances.

GE 6-Outlet Power Strip

Make it easy to turn off multiple appliances at once.

Utilize Your Windows

Gray curtains

During the cooler months, you can save money on your electric bill by opening your windows and letting in some fresh air. Not only does this save energy, but it can also help improve indoor air quality if you live somewhere with clean air outside.

When it does start to get hot outside, close your windows and block the sun with blackout curtains or drapes. This will help keep your home cooler and reduce the amount of work your air conditioner has to do.

Do the Dishes and Laundry Wisely

A laundry drying rack

Dishwashers and washing machines are some of the most energy-intensive appliances in your home. To save money on your electric bill, use them wisely.

When washing dishes by hand, fill up the sink instead of letting the water run the entire time. When using your dishwasher, wait until it’s full to run it. The same goes for your clothes washer—wait until you have a full load before starting a cycle.

You can also save energy by air-drying your clothes instead of using the dryer. If you do need to use your dryer, clean the lint trap before each load. A clogged lint trap makes your dryer work harder and wastes energy.

Collapsible Clothes Drying Rack

Save money by air-drying your clothes.

With the cost of everything higher than ever, you don’t want to spend any more money than necessary on your electric bill. From turning off electronics when they’re not in use to closing the curtains, here are a few ways you can save some money even when you’re blasting the AC.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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