Idaho can be pretty hot, especially in summer. Last August 2018, Boise was at a record-breaking 106 degrees, beating the record of 105 back in 1875. When temperatures are high and with your air conditioning system blasting on full mode, it’s easy for your electric bill to bloat.
But there are ingenious ways to cut back on your electric bill without compromising your comfort or quality of life.
Install a solar panel
Perhaps the most effective way to cut down your electric bill is installing a solar panel. Using solar power in Idaho can even meet 90% of your energy needs, sometimes even more.
Installing a solar panel system isn’t cheap as it can cost from $15,000 to $25,000 for a residential home, but it’s going to pay for itself in the long run. If you want to see if your location is a prime spot for solar panels, contact professionals to have your home evaluated.
Use a programmable thermostat
Did you ever find it annoying how your standard thermostat cools your house all throughout the day even when no one was at home? It’s a complete waste of money and energy, but sometimes you forget turning it off, and turning it off means you’ll come home to a scorching house.
A programmable thermostat is an answer to this problem. It’s an energy efficient tool that lets you program the hours when your house will be empty, and it will adjust the temperature accordingly.
Switch to Energy Star appliances
It may seem counterintuitive since you want to save money and here you are, reading that you should spend more on new appliances. But once you replace your decades-old refrigerator with an energy-efficient, modern counterpart, it can cut your electric bill significantly.
Appliances marked with the Energy Star are those that passed the strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. government. In other words, if it’s an Energy Star, it will help you save on electricity.
In fact, an Energy Star certified air conditioner can save you around $85 over its lifetime since it uses about 15% less energy than non-certified models.
Replace your filters
Air filters accumulate dust and dirt over time, and an unchanged, dirty air filter will make your air conditioner work harder to cool your house. It can even shorten your air conditioner’s lifespan.
According to the US Department of Energy, replacing a clogged air filter with a new one can lower your AC’s energy consumption by 5–15 percent. This is especially crucial during winter.
How often should you change your filters? If you have multiple pets, allergies, or live in a dusty area, every three weeks is a good rule of thumb. But if you rarely use your AC, six months is usually good. Just remember to peek at your filters once a week.
These tips can reduce your electric bill significantly. Idaho often has the worst winters and summers, so it’s best to equip your home with the right tools ahead of time.