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How to Use Less Electricity and Save Money on Your Electric Bill

In a perfect world, the temperature would never get above 80 or sink below 60. But as it is, the summer days we look forward to come with a cost. And that cost is seen most clearly in the electric bill. 

Fortunately, there are ways to cut your electricity bill, even in the dog days of summer. Here’s how.  

  • Use window AC units when possible. A window unit uses far less energy to cool the same sized space as a central air conditioning system. You can also save money by not having to cool every room in the house—instead, cool just the ones you use.
  • Don’t use AC in the basement. Basements are naturally cool, so close the vents. It might not be as cool as the rest of the house, but remember, this is summer. Things are supposed to be a little warm, not a little cold.
  • Have your AC serviced regularly. A little maintenance can go a long way. Leaves, seeds, dirt and debris can make your unit work 10 or 15 percent harder than it needs to.
  • Think beyond the AC. There are other ways to keep your home cool besides blasting the cool air. During the day, draw the shades to prevent the sun from driving up temperatures up in your home. A dehumidifier can take the stuffiness out of the air. And don’t forget about fans—circulating air increases how quickly and efficiently a room or house cools down.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat. They cost less than $30—but automating temps can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
  • Regularly change your furnace filters. Fresh filters capture dust, pollen and dirt before they reach your HVAC system. This ultimately helps improve the efficiency of the HVAC, which will help lower your electricity bill. Check out the manufacturer’s recommendations on how often you should change your filter—and consider buying a permanent, washable filter to save even more over the long term.
  • Switch your washing machine’s cycle to cold. You can save up to $150 a year by doing so—and many experts say it doesn’t make your clothes any less clean.
  • Skip the dryer. If it’s a warm, sunny day and you have a clothesline, there’s no reason to run the dryer.
  • Unplug, unplug, unplug. Anything plugged into a wall uses electricity—even when it’s turned off. For that reason, it’s a good idea to only plug in less frequently used devices when they’re actually in use. Before you go to bed, walk through your home and unplug any device that’s not in use in addition to turning off any lights.
  • Read your meter. Periodically check your meter to make sure it matches up with what the electricity company is charging you.

While we’ll look over some electricity-saving devices in an upcoming post, the general rule of thumb is to use less while staying comfortable. Ask yourself if you need your house to be so cool or whether the water you're using really needs to be so hot. 

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.