Alabama summers can wreak havoc on energy bills. That late afternoon sun will have the A/C running nonstop, especially if you’re cooking supper or doing any canning, then there’s the dreaded water bill once it’s time to start watering the lawn, flower and vegetable gardens.
A country girl at heart, for me, “city water” was just something Daddy turned on when the power went out. You can bet my Momma was telling him real quick to, “Turn that city water off” when the power came on and the well was back running. Now as a grown-up on that “city water” all the time, I understand why my mother was so conscientious of paying for water – especially when you’re using a lot more of it keeping the plants alive.
All these things in consideration, your power bill and water bill are two utilities you can work to save on during the summer months.
It’s reported that 70 percent of indoor water use occurs in the bathroom. Shorter showers can help compensate for the water you’re using on the lawn and gardens. You can even install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucets and toilets. Also, check for faucet or pipe leaks that need to be addressed.
Scrub dishes in a sink of soapy water instead of letting water run. Washing clothes on the cold cycle, instead of warm or hot, provides some additional energy savings.
Now, how do you save on those energy bills? First and foremost, if your heating and cooling system is up in years, it’s a good time to consider replacing it with something more energy efficient.
The summer is the prime time to use other appliances wisely, as well. Only wash full loads of clothes and full loads in the dishwasher. Take a cue from the grandparents and string up an old-fashioned clothesline for items like jeans and sheets instead of running the dryer.
Using your ceiling fans can also cut down on A/C usage but only when you’re in that room. Shut blinds against direct sunlight and close doors and vents if you have rooms you’re not using.
Don’t forget that thermostat! Raise the temp on the air conditioning when you will be gone an extended period of time. Also, cleaning your air filter once a month can help your HVAC unit be more efficient.
Every little bit adds up when it comes to cutting costs. Small steps can help you save big throughout the duration of a hot, sultry summer, which you know is coming!
Before you know it, you’ll find good use for those savings – shopping for new school clothes, Halloween costumes and Christmas gifts.
Emily Mays is vice president/senior marketing director at Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay, working in finance for 13 years. She is an enthusiastic social media marketer, financial literacy advocate and go local supporter. She lives in East Franklin and has one daughter, Lola, 10.