Cut Electricity Bill and Keep the AC

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We live in South Florida, where AC is generally not an option, but a necessity. We're on the electric company's budget billing plan, but have slashed $100+ a month off compared to last year's bill - even with hotter temperatures this year. The major reasons for this have been:


  • Kept drapes/blinds drawn throughout the day where the sunlight exposure is greatest.

  • Kept the AC thermostat at 78 F; lowering it to 77 F only when it's in the mid-90's or higher outside.

  • Shaded our outside AC compressor from direct sunlight. If you have a split system, with your exchanger indoors and the compressor outdoors, shading the outdoor unit can save 3% on your bill.

  • Installed ceiling fans in every room; keep them running in the rooms you're using (off in the ones you're not) and especially in the area where your thermostat is located. They cost pennies to run and help keep the house cooler though the thermostat is set at 78.

  • Installed a newer, more energy-efficient hot water heater.

  • Gave up the chest freezer. It was older and a huge energy draw; also, in our area during Hurricane Season, power outages are common. Stockpiling foods that can (and have) gone bad also isn't a smart option for us.

  • Did laundry solely in cold water.

  • Used my electric dryer as a nice folding table, LOL. It still worked fine and was a newer model, but hanging all my laundry outdoors has cut SIXTY dollars every month on the electric bill alone. Not only that, but the ambient temperature in the laundry room doesn't soar to high heaven anymore--also saving wear and tear (and cash output) from the AC system. For anyone living in that rainy season area where it's generally sunny in the morning and rainy all afternoon, this can still be done. I've forced myself to get up and throw wash in very early in the morning so it's line-dried by noon when the storms usually roll in.

I've had the same meter reader for years and he just laughs and shakes his head every month. "You people are going to put me out of a job!"

By Candy Killion from Hollywood, FL


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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for the great tips puppermom. We live in the Tampa Bay area so we face the same problems. We had a small dryer that really wasn't large enough capacity or enough power for our family so we had to dry all of our clothes twice. Then i got a front loader washer and we were able to cut down to one load. I gave the dryer away when my Mom gave us hers. Wouldn't you know it broke down not too long afterward! I just decided I am not going to replace it. I can't wait to see my next electric bill. We erected a canopy over the lines so that rain is not an issue anymore. I am not getting another dryer. IF an emergency arises, we can borrow the neighbor's or go to the laundry mat 2 blocks down the street!

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

When I lived in Louisiana, I saved a third of my summer electrical bills by having solar screens put on the house. They paid for themselves in 2 summers.


I thought they looked great on the house, They also added some privacy during the day, since they are darker and denser than regular screens.

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

I love your ideas and have followed all of them with the exception of giving up my dryer. I cut my bill in half by using ceiling fans, keeping the AC temp at 78, installing cellular blinds (keeping them closed during the afternoon hours when the sun shines in) and by running my furnace fan also throughout the day. I do all these in the winter also keeping the temp at 74 and have reaped the rewards in the colder months too. :)

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

Hey, I liked all of these ideas. We do them and also cut off our hot water heater until time to use it and turn it on for about 20-30 min. and the water is very warm and turn it off immediately and there is enough left over for dishes. Just keep washing in cold water.

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July 23, 20100 found this helpful

I loved all these tips, and we don't even have a/c!

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September 4, 20100 found this helpful

The simplest way to save $$ is to turn up your thermostat. Anything below 80 degrees is a waste of money, and unnecessary. I used to live in Arizona, where, contrary to popular belief, it's only a "dry heat" in June and part of July. I now live in a much more humid climate, and I still wouldn't dream of leaving the thermostat below 80.


Wear light clothes inside, you wouldn't wear a bikini indoors in the winter and crank up the heat, so keep it light in the summer, and turn down that A/C! :)

By doing this, we're able to have a freezer as well as the fridge, and even in the hottest months, our electric bill is under $150. Every degree counts in savings!

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