Keep your electric bill lower this season with these simple tips!
Outdoor temperatures can be extremely high or swing low, so why can’t utility bills ever seem to have a low-cost season? Electricity most often tends to favor the high side. Thankfully, there’s more than one way to skin an electric bill while making those dollars peel off of your monthly costs. Read on for a few simple ways to score some savings in these basic, yet needed comforts of home!
Heat and AC
Heat and air are the most powerful, energy-pulling components of your electric bill. It takes a lot of power to produce enough warm or cool air to keep an entire home at a pleasant temperature. There are some ways to feel more comfortable with your bill while feeling the same level of comfort in your home.
Start with making sure your home is airtight. For a quick option, add window film kits or door draft guards. Cracks and crevices around doors and windows let precious air escape in a hurry. In turn, your AC and heater work harder to compensate while you work harder to pay the bill.
When building a home or remodeling, always be sure to put in double-paned, energy-efficient windows. Although they cost a bit more you will save on your electricity bill by insulating your home which results in cozy comfort.
If saving 10% on your power bill sounds like a winner, simply turn your thermostat down 10-15° in the winter and up in the summer. In cold months wear a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks with a handy throw close by to make up the difference. In summer, dress lightly and turn on room or ceiling fans. It’s a small price to pay that results in paying less on your monthly power bills!
Single lights aren’t high on the scale of saving but everything adds up. Especially the cost of replacing bulbs. They aren’t as cheap as they used to be! Turn those lights off when not in use. Pennies saved are pennies earned and those pennies turn into dollars!
If you have a smart home, you can turn off unused power items when you’re away. There’s no need to stay plugged in when you aren’t even there!
Change your energy-consuming bulbs for LED and fluorescent options. You’ll save up to 80% on the cost of that energy source. They do cost more but they last longer meaning you save money on replacements.
Water may not sound like it belongs in the power department, but it takes power to run water! It also takes power to heat water which comes from your water heater. A water-saving tip that cuts energy costs is setting your water heater to 120° instead of 140°. Every 10° lowered on your water heater setting, will save 3% to 6% annually.
Shorten your shower and save! Shower use with a basic showerhead uses approximately 2.1 gallons of water per minute. Get in, get it done and cut your water consumption in half. Use your time to relax when you’re clean, cozy, and dry.
Greasy, dirty, sweaty clothes need heat and lightly worn clothing can be washed in cold water to save on water heater usage.
Check your home for leaks. A leaky faucet inside or out can sneak higher costs past you for both your water bill and your power.
Miscellaneous Ways to Save
There are many subtle ways to cut down on anything. Things you won’t miss once you get in the habit of cutting back.
Use power strips. It can be a pain to unplug everything that isn’t in use when trying to hurry out the door. Skip the unplugging frenzy and instead use power strips to turn several high-energy items off with the flip of one switch.
Don’t overload your appliances. Believe it or not, more is not always better. If you cram too many clothes and towels into the dryer, it is going to take several rounds to get them dry. Plus, they will come out wrinkled and often with an unpleasant odor from being wet for so long. By adding less, the airflow is better, the heat saturates the clothes…ultimately drying faster and saving you cash.
Don't keep your water heater in standby mode. The savings are minimal but certain problems can cost you. Turning anything off and on can cause wear. You will also have to wait for the water to reheat. Ultimately, reheating a water heater over and over can eat up the little you saved, while adding inconvenience.
Bundle up your bedding and turn down the thermostat at night. Adjust temperatures on your freezer and refrigerator to a lower setting that will still keep food fresh and frozen. Use less lighting for a cozy, lower-cost ambiance. Turn the TV off when no one is watching. Turn off and unplug computers, printers, and all other items that are not in use. A little bit here and there will add up to a lot on your electric bill.
When it comes time to buy new appliances, check the energy-saving ratings before you buy. This is a great way to get the best bang for your buck.
Bake in the winter and grill in the summer. Hot months are no time to have your oven battle against the air conditioning. However, ovens and stovetops can actually be a benefit in the winter. Enjoy taking your cooking outside in the summer and create a cozy, comfortable food atmosphere indoors on those cold winter nights.
Keep in mind the difference in turning down and turning off energy producers. Our tips for the water heater, also apply to the thermostat. If you turn the heat off while you’re out for a few hours, when you return the system not only has to reheat the air, but the furniture, walls, and flooring as well…and that is a lot of work and cost!
Lastly, check with your power company for two things. Find out if there is a peak time of day when power costs rise and do your best to avoid them. And, ask about a home energy audit. It can be free and you will come away with an evaluation of your home and ways to make it more efficient!