How to Lower Your Electric Bill
Household bills are a big expense that comes with either renting or owning a home. Your monthly expenditures might seem impossible to lower without severely affecting your comfort and lifestyle.
Luckily, cutting your electricity costs does not have to impact your daily life too much. By following some easy steps, you can quickly notice a difference in your electricity usage.
Read on for tips on how to effectively lower your electric bill!
1. Perform Annual HVAC Maintenance
Your HVAC system is responsible for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning within your home, making it a major portion of your electricity bill. Over 5% of your total electricity use can be attributed to HVAC.
Make sure that your HVAC system is in prime working condition at all times to get the most out of it, and keep your energy bill lowered. Annual maintenance inspections can identify wear and tear that makes it work harder.
2. Clean HVAC Filters
Keep your entire HVAC system working efficiently by maintaining it yourself over the year. Cleaning the filters is essential and should be done every 30 days to help cut electrical costs. Replace old or filthy filters.
Follow this filter replacement schedule to promote the most efficiency in your HVAC:
- Panel Filters—Change every 30 days.
- Pleated Filters—Change every 3 to 4 months.
- Media Filters—Change every 6 months.
- Permanent Filters—Clean once per month.
3. Insulate Your Home
Not only should your walls be insulated, but your roof and basement should also be well-insulated. Additionally, you can insulate electrical outlets around the home to prevent leaks of hot or cold air.
Save up to $30 per year on electricity by insulating your hot water heater the next time you conduct maintenance on it. It will drastically improve efficiency—even more so if you insulate the first few feet of the heater piping.
4. Audit Your Energy
Another go-to way to lower energy is to book an audit. Get your utility company to perform an energy audit to identify the main areas where you can cut back on energy usage. Most companies offer this as a free service.
5. Monitor Usage
Understanding your energy usage is often the first step in managing it and lowering your costs. Know how much you use and where you can cut back. Smart meters are great to help out, or other types of energy monitors.
6. Know Your Off-Peaks
Many municipal areas have reduced energy rates during certain times of the day. Research your local off-peak hours and try to run your major appliances during that time, including washers, dryers, or dishwashers.
7. Compare Energy Quotes
Because there are so many options for utility companies, you can always shop around and compare energy quotes to save big on electricity. Use an online service to compare estimated energy costs.
Sometimes, you can save quite a lot of money by switching to a different utility company, from lowered costs to initial sign-up savings. Make sure to determine if the quote is a fixed or variable rate and which is best for you.
8. Draught-Proof Your House
Don’t let draughts drive heat from your home! By making your house safe from air leaks from the outside, you can avoid wasting heat and electricity. Purchase draught excluders or draught-proofing kits to apply yourself.
9. Consider Energy-Friendly Landscaping
Instead of relying solely on your air conditioning for summertime ventilation, plan ahead with landscaping to assist you in cutting energy costs.
Energy-saving landscaping is often overlooked but very effective. Plant trees strategically to shade your house and air conditioning unit to insulate your home during the height of summer naturally.
Plus, removing extra rock and cement from around the property will help decrease the reflective heat during the summertime.
10. Keep Refrigerator Coils Clean
Check and clean your refrigerator coils at least every three months. This will keep your electricity costs low and extend the lifespan of your unit, as well! Plus, keeping the coils clean will make your refrigerator run more efficiently.
11. Use Motion Sensors
You can cut back on your energy bill by installing motion sensors to automatically shut off lights when there is no movement. So put motion sensors inside and outside to help manage light usage when no one is around.
12. Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart home technology can be great for cutting electrical costs and saving money. With a smart thermostat, only the rooms you are using will be heated, significantly lowering energy usage.
Though smart technology can be expensive to install, it pays for itself in the end!
13. Turn Down the Thermostat
Most of your electricity costs are caused by heating, cooling, and hot water. But if you turn down the thermostat by even a few degrees, you can save over $100 per year quite easily with lessened heating usage.
14. Install Outdoor Solar Lighting
One of the easiest ways to save money on your electrical bill is by not using electricity! Install solar lighting for outdoor areas and pathways to illuminate your spaces for free and make them glow at night.
15. Seal the Cracks
Make sure to seal cracks in the floors or baseboards to prevent air leaks from entering your home. If you have an unused chimney, blocking or sealing saves on the heating bill, and plastic lining for your windows keeps heat in.
16. Shut Out the Sun
To keep your air conditioning and cooling costs down over the summer, make sure to keep the blinds and shades closed during the day. Instead of turning on the A/C, install ceiling fans and run them for energy-saving ventilation.
17. Invest in Efficient Appliances
Look for appliances that are built to save on energy. You can find a wide array of popular household units that will lower your energy cost with every use, and you might be eligible for energy rebates or tax credits.
Look for energy-efficient appliances such as:
- Clothes Dryers
- Heating Pumps
- Washing Machines
18. Unplug Unused Appliances
Instead of allowing the appliances and electronics that you don’t use every day to remain plugged in at all times, Unplug them in-between uses. You can save $100 to $200 per year by eliminating these “energy vampires.”
Because even small appliances and electronics will draw small amounts of power when plugged in, it’s a good idea to keep occasionally used items unplugged to stop the draw of excess power. Unplug items like the following:
- Air Fryers
- Computer Monitors
- Desktop Computers
- Gaming Consoles
- Hair Dryers
- Hair Straighteners
- Instant Pots
- Phone Chargers
- Tea kettles
For more frequently used units, such as computers, televisions, and gaming consoles, that you cannot leave unplugged for long periods between use, it’s at least worth it to unplug them overnight to save electricity.
To easily turn off various items simultaneously, try plugging batches of units into the same power strip and turning them off at the source. Make sure to use a surge-suppressor strip to ensure your items are safe from electrical issues.
19. Use LED Lights
Switch out your older lightbulbs for LEDs to cut your energy usage significantly—even up to 90% over the long term. With lower wattage use and longer lifespans, LED light bulbs to reduce the overall cost of electricity.
20. Wash and Dry by Hand
Try to skip the dishwasher for smaller amounts of dirty dishes and do them by hand. Your dishwasher uses a significant amount of power and heat to complete a cycle, so any partial loads should just be done by hand to save electricity.
21. Fill Up the Laundry
Try not to run a load of laundry if it isn’t full. Because the same amount of energy is expended on a half-load as a drum full of clothes, it will be a waste of money to do small loads routinely.
22. Wash Clothes at a Lower Temperature
By either lowering the temperature of your washing machine cycles or washing them in cold water, you can save a lot on your electric bill. By using cold water, your energy consumption from laundry can actually be 90% lower!
23. Empty the Lint Trap
Another small tip, but an important one—scrape out the lint trap before every dryer use to optimize energy efficiency. To prevent overworking your dryer, you should scrub the lint trap filter with soapy water every 2 or 3 months.
24. Line-Dry Laundry
During the summer, why not line-dry your clean clothes? This will save you between 1,800 to 5,000 watts per dryer load and all the energy costs that go along with it.
Plus, you will get that lovely fresh-air scent that comes with clothes dried outdoors!
25. Cut Back on Ironing Time
Ironing may seem like an innocuous activity, but irons actually can use between 800 and 2,000 watts of energy. Maximize your ironing by doing it all at once and not letting the iron sit too long when warming up.
Lowering your monthly expenditures might seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be! With the help of these simple tips, you can successfully lower your electricity bill, leaving you more money to do the things you love.
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