Ah, such a lovely evening to sit outside and type up this little article. It’s a tick past 8pm here in Texas, and the high today was almost 100 degrees.
We won’t turn on the air tonight, only fans. We’ve only run the air conditioner 5 times in the last 30 days, and those were short occurrences after the sun had gone down. We didn’t run the air conditioner for nearly 20 days in a row through the middle of August. In west Texas.
I guess I’m telling you this to get your attention and to tell you that this isn’t just another boring article on how to lower your electric bill.
Our electric bill for all of July was just a hair off $50. I was actually a bit upset with that number. We did run the A/C more during that month, and more than half of that bill was attributable to the stupid refrigerator. We were rocking a 1987 model up until 2 weeks ago. That’s not a typo.
*As an update to this article, our August bill came in just over $40. We can go lower!
Please keep in mind, that’s $50 in the middle of summer, in Texas, in a 11oo square foot mobile home with poor insulation. Can you tell, we’re not ashamed of our bill.
We think we could get it under $25 per month in a typical home. We challenge you to get there with us.
Let’s talk about air conditioning for a minute. It’s yet another topic that I feel strongly about.
Sometimes we take long strolls through the streets of our lovely mobile home park. Really, it’s nice. Gated, with walking trails around a lovely pond that’s always exploding with wildlife. Who knew, right?
What we find is astounding. Day or night, scorching hot or stunningly nice out, people have their air conditioners blasting. I mean the sound of these units is all you can hear at night from our little back porch. They just run, and run, and run, and run.
Half of the people aren’t even home, and yet the A/C unit is still working hard to cool that empty house. It’s beyond me to comprehend the situation.
More than that, why do individuals feel so entitled to a 68 degree room? Is there a new gene that has been identified in the homo sapiens DNA that requires a well frosted room during summertime?
I think not. Somehow we’ve forgotten that mankind found a way to survive without any air conditioning at all for thousands of years.
In fact, there is this amazing thing that IS hardwired into our genetic code called perspiration. It’s this amazing trick where our bodies naturally cool themselves through the process of evaporation. With just an adequate intake of water and a little willpower, it’s possible to survive and thrive in the hot weather!
So that’s groundbreaking trick number 1 – Realize that sweating is natural, and A/C is not required or necessary to live well.
If the heat is just too much for you to handle, we’ve still got some advice for you. How about utilizing the free air conditioned space of others? We sometimes make ourselves at home at the local McDonalds, University, or library. All seem happy to run the A/C below 70 degrees, day and night.
Sometimes I go to these places and actually begin shivering. Can you imagine that? Shivering cold during a hot Texas day. It’s insanity.
If you just have to be at home all day, how about turning up the temperature a few degrees on the old thermostat? Please, the cash and I are begging you to turn it up.
I think upper 70′s is a the lowest it should go, and higher than that when no one is home. These settings can be automatically applied with a cheap programmable thermostat.
The correct temperature is the one where you can be avoid sweating while wearing as little clothing as possible. If you’re walking around in pants and a long sleeve shirt during summer, you’re wrong. You are wrong.
How to Lower Your Electric Bill Further
It’s now time to revert to a few boring tips that we use to further destroy our monthly bill.
Take cold showers in summer
This is one that my wife and I love to laugh about. Just think this through with me now. People run the A/C like crazy to cool a house down, then the entire family makes it a point to take steaming hot showers each night, heating up their bodies and the house. Do you see the problem? It’s double energy waste! Why not accept warmer housing temperatures, then use the shower to cool down your body?
I know, I’m a genius.
Unplug crap that you aren’t using.
Either unplug everything except your fridge when not in use, or get a power strip that turns off everything. Electronics are notorious for sucking energy when left plugged in. It’s very easy to turn off a power strip and avoid this issue.
Use CFL or LED bulbs only. If you’re still using the old incandescent, you are crazy. They suck energy. And keeps lights turned off. If its day time, use the sun, not electricity.
Seasonly use blinds and curtains
During summer, block out light with blind and blackout curtains. The sun raises indoor temperatures significantly. During winter, open it all up and absorb as much sunlight as possible. It’s free heat.
Wash laundry with cold water
According to Michael Bluejay, A.K.A. Mr. Electricity, washing clothing in cold water instead of hot can save $152 per year.
Share your best tips below on how to lower your electric bill.