Summer Is Here a post on The Penny Hoarder Community by Jon from Moore IncomeSummer is in full swing!

For those of us up North, it is definitely the most beautiful time of the year as we forget those frigid memories of negative 30 degree weather with windchill.

That being said, living in an apartment, the heat is paid but the AC is electric.

It is currently 78 degrees here in Fargo, and rather than running the AC, I have opened the windows. While it still feels a bit warm, it is not bad and I am happy to do it to save some money on electric.

Just curious to know:

How does Summer affect your electric bill?

What are some things you do to conserve energy?

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Original Post

@Moore Income I live in an apartment in Pennsylvania, and the heat is electric.  That is one thing not included in the rent here. I do not use the air condtioner.   If it is really necessary, the ceiling fan will be put on.  Yet, I try not to use it.  My place has two bedrooms, two baths, and a garage.  During the summer...the lowest I have gotten it down to 33.00.  It does go down in the summer.  No doubt about it.  The winter is higher even though I try not to use the heat much.

We live in Florida and for us an A/C is a must.  We have a heat pump for winter, all electric for summer and our power bill goes up about $70-100/month starting in June through Sept/Oct.  We have either ceiling fans or portable fans in all living areas, and that makes a huge difference.  We can keep the thermostat about 2-3 degrees warmer in the summer keeping the fans on.

We also recently installed a new thermostat that is mobile compatible, so we can change the temp setting away from home. That way we can raise the setting when we leave, but also lower it before we get back to the house so it's cooler when we get there. As a bonus, when signing up for the warranty registration, the manufacturer sends me a monthly email showing my daily hours running and not running, at what temperature in degrees, any changes made to that setting during any day of the month, and does a side by side comparison with the previous month.  Not sure if that helps save money, but I like it!

Our A/C is designed to remove a lot of humidity inside the house and we watch that level on indoor thermometers with humidity settings and stay between 39-43% which is very effective.  That said, I recently stayed in an AirBnB with a separate humidifier and the thermostat never left 78 degrees and I night I was chilly!  So either the thermostat was off or the humidifier did a stellar job of keeping the air temps feeling cooler. 


I am in NH and live in a townhouse style apartment. Its super energy efficient in the winter. It's hot upstairs in the summer! Not sure why... 

I keep all the windows and blinds down during the day to keep it from warming up as much as possible. I have a few fans circulating the air downstairs. As soon as it is cooler outside than inside, I open the windows and put fans in them. I have two small window unit A/C upstairs- the boys share a room if they want some A/C. I just installed them last weekend. Needless to say that I wait as long as possible before using them. If I can get away with it, we use fans at night to bring in the cooler air. 

Even with the fans and the 2 A/C running only at night, the electric bill remains under $100 and usually lower than that. I think it's very reasonable, and I plan for the expense. (I did spend one summer in West Texas without A/C and wow, never again.) 

Note that in Houston, if the humidity is very high with a temp of 76 degrees, then I probably would turn on my AC in that case. I don't even want to think about a summer in West Texas. When I first moved to Houston from the east many years ago, I got sick that first summer. The emergency room told me at that time it was dehydration and was not unusual for new arrivees.

Moore Income posted:

@sthom LOL People here think it is really humid. But I have lived in Central America and it definitely doesn't compare.

But with the winters here, anything above 60 is starting to get pretty warm 

Agreed, 60 seems high up there. I lived in Detroit (at 60 degrees, it was shorts time almost)  for many years before moving to Atlanta and now Houston.

BJLEE posted:

My Electric bill has doubled in the warmer months. Any ideas on how to keep my apartment cooler? I live on the second floor and i think some of the heat from the apartment under me is coming to my place.


"Heat rises; that's why the second level is hotter."

sthom posted:

Note that in Houston, if the humidity is very high with a temp of 76 degrees, then I probably would turn on my AC in that case. I don't even want to think about a summer in West Texas. When I first moved to Houston from the east many years ago, I got sick that first summer. The emergency room told me at that time it was dehydration and was not unusual for new arrivees.

@sthom  I would think living in Texas would be very hot.  I prefer four seasons.

Yes, it is entirely too hot here and I too prefer four seasons like when I lived in Michigan. But, I have to say that Texas has grown on me and now I love it. The heat has been the only downside for me. A few years back, I was in Colorado and because I'd been living here so long, I got altitude sickness. But, Colorado was magic.

My electric goes down in the summer months because  I hang my cloths out to dry.running the dryer boosts my electric up  as does my oil burner.

If it is going to be hot and humid out I close the windows and the shades before it gets  too hot out. Then I put on the ceiling fan, my oscillating fan and turn on the A/C on energy saver for and hour or two  then I shut it off for most of the day. Then before the Hubby comes home I will turn the A/C back on and cool it off for him after his long day . This seems to keep  my electric down to a manageable cost. 

My AC is on here in Ohio, which affects both gas and electric (gas HVAC with electric ignite and compressor having its own electric breaker).  I hang clothes to dry and do other things to cut costs.  I don't run the AC unless it is humid.  I have budget billing, so I pay the same prices year round.

Southern CO here, and holy crap is it hot. The climate is basically desert where I'm at, so temps have been soaring. Electric bill for us goes up about 50-70% in the summer. But when it's 101° there isn't much else to do but run the AC and keep the shades drawn. It makes it feel like living in a cave!

When it's not so hot, we will

  • open windows,
  • use box fans to create cross breezes, and
  • make sure the ceiling fans are going counter clockwise.

Leaving the windows open through the night helps cool off a lot too, just make sure to shut them and the blinds/curtains before it gets too hot!

Here in Tennessee it's been very hot! We had more days with 90+ degrees this past month or so than ever before. Even when it rains there is only a short cool down if any cool down at all. We have a heat pump, and a regular central air for the house. We still have to have fans running on some days to keep the house cool enough for us...75 degrees. 

Here in our area the bill isn't much higher if any at all. Usually the few months of winter are the highest months.  In summer we usually set our thermostat at 75-77, and in the winter it sets at 68 permanent. It's brought our bill down significantly. Usually one can request an "air loss" or "air constraint" testing from the local power station. Sometimes they will have specials on upgrades and you'll receive credits for helping conserve power by getting these upgrades.


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