Stay cool and on budget with energy saving tips

Hooray! Summer is here, which means temperatures are steadily climbing. As you seek comfort from the heat, be mindful of your budget.  Extra spending on energy costs in the summer to keep cool can really add up- and make you hot under the collar when you get the bills! So keep the following energy saving tips in saving tips

“In the winter we make an effort to keep the heat inside our homes, and now in the summer we’re trying to keep the heat out. The more you can do to reduce your need to crank up that A/C the more it will keep your energy bills down,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“Aside from your rent or mortgage and your groceries, your energy bills are probably your biggest expense. Keeping those costs down means more cash flow for other things, like paying down debt, saving or enjoying summer activities with your family, says Schwartz”

Here are some energy saving tips to help keep your bills down:

The basics

There are many energy saving tips that you should implement year-round. Turn lights off when you’re not in the room. Respect peak use hours, when you’ll pay a premium for energy usage, and run dishwashers and do laundry in the early morning or evening.  Have a shower instead of a bath.  Make sure your doors and windows are sealed and well-insulated.

A/C tune up

Make sure that your A/C unit is able to run efficiently by checking it out before you turn it on. Change the filter and attend to any repairs that need doing before the season is in full swing.

Programmable thermostat

While it is lovely to come home to a super cool house at the end of the work day, the costs of doing so are not so nice. Program your thermostat to cool when you’re at home.

Also consider keeping your thermostat one or two degrees higher than you might ordinarily do. The savings over the season can be substantial.

Pilot light

Do you have a gas fireplace? Are you going to use it in the summer? Most people do not, but most people leave the pilot light burning all summer. Turn the pilot light off, because every little bit of energy use adds up!

Low tech

Just ask anyone who doesn’t have AC how they stay cool. Fans set in a cross ventilation pattern can move the air and make a big difference, and are inexpensive. Have a cold shower. Put ice on pressure points (i.e. the inside of your wrists and back of your neck).

Shut the blinds

Pulling the shades or drawing the curtains can make a huge difference when you are trying to keep your home cool. Reducing the heat from the sunshine means that your A/C doesn’t have to go into overdrive (which means overspending).

Mother Nature does laundry

Give your dryer a rest for the summer and hang your laundry outside to dry. However be mindful some cities have banned the practice of hanging your clothes outside to dry. Nevertheless, if you are allowed to hang your clothes outside to dry, it is a welcome change from our long Canadian winters.

Change the menu

It’s too hot (and expensive) to turn the stove on every night. Take advantage of these hot summer nights by cooking outside or by having cold suppers, like salads, cold meats and cheeses and farm fresh veggies.

Do your energy bills and other debts leave you tapped out every month? You can benefit from looking at different options to pay down your debt and balance your budget. Contact one of our trained credit counsellors at 1-888-294-3130 or visit our free online debt analysis.

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