Saving in the Summer


By AFN Media Finance

Summer can get expensive with traveling, holidays, cookouts, summer camp, and trying to keep your house cool. Yes, the list can go on and on. At AFN we have some of the best tips on how you can keep a few more dollars in your pocket

 

Energy Costs

Even if you live in a more mild climate, it can get a little steamy during those Summer days which leads us to blasting on our air conditioning. Here are a few tips on how to keep your energy costs down while maintaining your home cool.

    1. Replace your air filters when needed. If the filter is dirty, it could use up more energy while your AC is running, it is recommended to replace your filter every three months.

   2. Draw the shades during the day; sure your rooms won't be as bright without the sunshine beaming in, but it also won't be as warm. Research has shown that keeping your blinds open can warm a room up to two degrees or more. By keeping your blinds or shades are drawn the room will stay cooler, and you won't have to rely on your AC as much. 

   3. Ceiling fans are wonderful to have for rooms that are harder to keep cool. Ceiling fans use minimal amounts of energy and push down and circulate the cooler air in the room, allowing you to keep the thermostat up a degree or two.

4. Speaking of thermostats, it is recommended to the temperature of your house up to the most comfortable point for you. Every degree higher shaves off a significant cost on your energy bill. When you leave the house, it is recommended to turn it up, so it won't be running as much. Some thermostats can even schedule the temperatures depending on the day and time, or you can also look into a smart thermostat which you can connect to your phone. Having the ability to control the house temperature while your family is away will help knock some dollars off your next energy bill.

Water Costs

When we think of Summer, it's hard not to think of water. We head to the beach, lake, pool to cool off or we need it for our gardens and lawns. It's no surprise that many cities enter a drought during the Summer months while you foot the expensive water bill. Here are the best tips to saving some H20.

1. If you love a green lawn, it is recommended to water early in the morning or late evening when the sun isn't at its peak and evaporating a lot of the water. Irrigation systems also help to make your watering more accurate, so you aren't watering the nearby sidewalk or street. Also, consider types of grass that are better for the climate you live in and that use less water. If you live in a hotter climate, maybe ditch the grass for another form of landscaping altogether (looking at you, Arizona).

2. Rain barrels are a fantastic investment, rather than letting all that rainwater go down the drain collect it in a rain barrel. You can use this water to give your plants, grass, or garden a drink and the best part is it's free! 

3. Personal pools are a luxury to have, and while it is nice to walk out to your backyard to your oasis private pool, the cost can be a lot. Not only are you footing the water bill to keep it full but the upkeep and cleaning can cost a lot too. Don't be shy about visiting the neighborhood pool; your kids will have just as much fun. Even better take a mini vacation to a nearby lake or the ocean. If you do have a pool, we recommend keeping it covered when not it use. This will keep the water from evaporating during those sunny days.

4. Dishwashers continue to get better and better with each model. Energy Star dishwasher use an average of 3 gallons of water per use compared to washing by hand which uses up to 27 gallons. So let the dishwasher do all the work for you!

5. Finally, don't forget to shorten up your shower times. We get it that you may be washing off sand and sunscreen but taking longer showers can use a lot of water.

Other Saving Ideas

1. Taking your kids to camp? Try carpooling with other parents, so you are saving some gas money.

2. Ditch the expensive grocery store produce. Summertime is some of the best time for your favorite fruits and veggies so head to a local farmers market for fresh produce at a lower price. Or if you have a green thumb, plant your own garden. 

3. Turn down your water heater; it's not winter anymore, so we aren't looking for those hot showers. By turning down your water heater a few degrees, you will save big on utilities.

4.Plan a staycation, rather than spending the larger costs on vacation far away look for something nearby that you and your family will enjoy.