We often associate money saving with cold weather and winter fuel bills, but what about hot weather? Especially during a heatwave. Are there any money saving advantages we can use in our efforts to stay cool in the stifling heat. Do we need to watch out for any expensive pitfalls we might unwittingly fall into? Let’s see.
How To Save Money on Your Electric Bill In Summer
We are quite fortunate in a way here in the UK, that the really hot days are pretty few and far between. Therefore we tend to get by with just electric fans, but how aware of the running costs do we need to be?
It will all depend on the Wattage. Every device should have the power in Watts indicated somewhere on it. This wattage figure might vary on the actual appliance depending on the speed setting.
Here are typical fan examples and estimated running costs:
- Oscillating Fans – could well be the cheapest option for a fan. They are available in various sizes for desktops or on tall stands. You can get them from around 22 Watts but the larger ones do go higher at over 50 Watts. This will equate to a running cost of 3.5p to 8.5p per 10 hours.
- Stand Up Tower Fan – at around 45Watts this will cost you approximately 0.7p an hour to run. Leave it running non-stop for 10 hours, that’s a cost of 7p
- Ceiling Fan – Again will vary, but one on high speed might be around 120 Watts. If so you’re looking at 18.5p per 10 hours.
All prices based on March 2017 Average Energy Price Tariff. You can use the Sust-It.net Energy Calculator to find out energy costs for various appliances based on their Watts.
All in all, as you can see electric fans are pretty cheap to run and certainly a lot cheaper than warming ourselves in winter with an electric heater fan or radiator.
You don’t need to leave fans on when you go out or if you won’t be in a room for some hours as they won’t keep the room any cooler for when you return.
Tips For Buying a New Electric Fan
Thinking ahead, the best time to purchase an electric fan would typically be as summer ends moving into autumn. You’re more likely to pick up a much better discount as stores look to clear stock.
In the heat of the moment, when temperatures are sweltering, not only are prices likely to be higher, the actual fans themselves are more likely to be sold out right when you need them. (Currently, with having hit 32C today, I’m wishing I’d purchased one in the previously slightly warmer spell a couple of weeks ago when they were in stock!)
When you do purchase your new electric fan, obviously search for the best price online and check for whether you can get any cashback. Prices vary, but if on a tight budget you might be able to pick one up for £10-£20.
If an option, it’s worth considering a fan with a timer. This way you can set it to switch off in the night as the temperatures cool. Plus it will switch off automatically if you are not in the room for any long length of time.
Given our typical British Summers, it’s hardly surprising that less than 1% of the UK population has air conditioning units. Therefore the vast majority of us are already making a saving by doing without as air con units as they are expensive to run.
Fridge and Freezers
In extremely hot weather, these appliances will be using more energy than normal to maintain low temperatures. Be aware of how long you are keeping those doors open. Remind the kids too. It’s not just in terms of energy costs, obviously, want to keep your food as fresh as possible so it lasts as long as it should.
Too hot for tea? Yay means you’ll be boiling the kettle less – I love my cups of tea and coffee. But when the temperature reaches over 30C even I start to drink less. This saves approximately 2-3p per boil.
Cooking Less and Keeping Cooler In the Kitchen
+30C and too hot to cook in the kitchen? Serve tasty cold meats like flavoured chicken drumsticks, cold ham, pasta and salad. No need to be sweating in the kitchen with the electric oven on heating up your house even more.
If you do like to cook your food, consider getting the BBQ out and cooking outside.
Consider Resting the Dishwasher
Wash Up instead of using the dishwasher. Everything will dry in no time and much of it can be will be reused sooner, rather than loading the dishwasher with 20 used cups etc.
Use a Tumble Dryer?
Stop! Hang clothes up on an outside washing line or Rotary Airer or Indoor clothes airer. They will dry in no time on the hottest of days.
Using electric showers can be relatively expensive to run. In some instances, constant use can put a lot of pressure on weak household electrics. We’ve had issues in the past.
At current energy price levels, electric showers cost approximately 2 to 3 p per minute to use. Which adds up if the whole family starts showering more and some members seem to spend half a lifetime in there.
When the weather is warm, you won’t need to set the water temperature so high. In fact, a nice cool shower could be just what the doctor ordered after a baking hot day in the sun.
Lose the Hair Dryer
For some, after you have washed your hair, you may not need to use the hairdryer. You could let it dry naturally. Who wants more hot air blowing in the warmest rooms of the house?
Lower Energy Bills In General
If you’re savvy with your energy bills it might work out even less for some of you, if hopefully are with the cheapest energy tariffs providers. Also, cheap electric at night on Economy 7 would reduce running costs even further
Fun Money Saving Tips For Hot Summer Days
Some money saving tips can be considered more worthwhile simply because they also add an element of fun or maybe even education.
Homemade Ice Lollies
How about making your own or letting the kids have a go? All you need is Lolly moulds, some fruit, for example, tinned peaches, pineapple, or apricots. Put in a blender with lemonade or diet lemonade, pour into Lollie mould and voila. Nice cheap homemade 1 of your 5 a day real fruit lollies.
Free Bottled Tap Water
Almost fill a bottle of water or flavoured water and freeze it. My kids went through a phase of loving their bottles of water, especially when frozen. Really helps to keep them cool. Constantly sipping the few latest few melted drops.
When going out, obviously take bottles of tap water. Saves buying any drinks. Which all adds up.
Avoid the IMPROMPTU Day Trip To The Beach
If you are on a tight budget, consider avoiding the call for the beach.
Where do I start on the money saving front?
- Petrol – A fair drive for many of us.
- Parking – You’ll most likely have to pay to park.
- Accessories – buckets, spades, umbrella, beach towels etc
- Drinks – it’s hot everyone will be thirsty, all day (only so much bottled water you can take)
- Sun Tan Cream /Sun Block / Aftersun– possibly of varying factors?
- Ice Creams and Lollies – The kids don’t always want the cheapest options either!
- Seafood Snacks – Cockles, Mussels (“alive alive oh!”) Prawns, Crab etc – can you resist?
- Fish and Chips – Fresh Fish. Lovely!
- Amusements – 2 Pence Machines and Arcade Games. The kids will see and hear them a mile off.
I’m raising the above expenses more in relation to an unplanned, impromptu beach trip. Think about it first.
Don’t get me wrong, a family day out at the beach can be a lot of fun and priceless memorable day.
However, if you are on a tight budget or focusing on achieving a particular financial goal, especially if clearing interest-bearing debt a family trip to the beach won’t help.
Cheaper Alternatives To The Beach For A Hot Summer Fun Day Out
A cooler, shaded Woodland walk is one example of an alternative and much cheaper option all round. No shops, snack bars, etc. Still, plenty of fun to be had and woodland discoveries for the kids. Maybe take some bicycles and go further afield.
You could visit a local Lido. Hopefully, find somewhere free to park. You can then usually set up for free on land surrounding lido, usually a park. Take pack lunch and bottled tap water and your set up for a good few hours.
Few Extra Random Tips for Keeping Cool During a Heatwave
When it’s really hot, over 30C in the UK, you might find yourself looking for more innovative and cheap ideas for keeping cool.
Fill up a paddling pool
In the garden. Ideal for a weekend, and refreshing for the kids after a long hot day at school. Kids love them.
In the middle of a heatwave, wandering around a nice cool supermarket actually becomes a much more pleasant experience. Remember to stick to buying what was on the list you made beforehand.
Keep Cool At Night
Children struggle in the heat, especially if on a high cabin bed or a bunk bed. One tip is to place your child’s pillowcase in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for long enough to make it nice a cool for bedtime.
Mine children were at least eager to try it and keener to go to bed a bit more than on the previous hot sticky night. Another option is to give them a cool wet flannel.
Sharing A Hot Summer Funny Joke
(This is so what I’m like, so I best get a Solero, it’s been 30C degrees today!) Is it too warm for you?
Overall keeping cool is a lot cheaper than trying to keep warm in winter. In some ways, you can use the hot weather to make extra savings. If you do venture out as a family, you can do so quite easily keeping to a tight budget.
Have I missed anything on the money saving front? Or do you have a “cool” tips you want to share for those hot summer days and nights?