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10 Best DIY Hacks for Saving Money on Electricity

By NOPEC on April 18, 2019

When you’re looking to save money on your electric bill, you need to tackle the items in your home that are the biggest electricity hogs first. You might think you don’t have the time or money to make such sweeping changes to your electrical usage. But doing so could potentially save you hundreds of dollars at the end of the year. These 10 hacks will help put extra money in your pockets by saving on unnecessary electrical expenses. And they’re so easy to do, you won’t even need an electrician or handyman to help you out.

1. Turn Down Your Thermostat at Night

Man lowering thermostat

Most of us sleep better when the house is a bit cooler than we’d like it when we’re awake, but did you know that you can actually save money on your electric bill by turning your thermostat down at night? Because it’s cooler outside at night, it takes a lot less energy to cool the house. Most houses will stay cool all morning, and you won’t have to run the air conditioner again until late afternoon.

2. Change Your AC Filter

Man changing AC filter

A home’s electrical furnace system needs regular maintenance to run efficiently. If you never change your furnace filters, you’re not only putting you and your family at risk with dangerous allergens, you are also potentially ruining your heating and cooling system. Change filters at least once at the beginning of fall and again in spring for optimal performance. A dirt-clogged filter won’t run as efficiently, making your system work harder and use more energy.

3. Unplug it if You're Not Using It

Woman unplugging cord

When was the last time you used that DVD player in your spare bedroom? Or the extra TV you have in the basement? Americans waste at least $50 a year on electrical devices that are plugged in and not being used. Even if you aren’t currently using something, it still wastes energy by using standby power. To save money on your electric bill, just remember: If you haven’t used it in at least a month, unplug it!

4. Throw in the Towel

Towel in dryer

That’s right, when you dry your next load of laundry, throw in a dry towel with it. A dry towel will help soak up the excess water that many washing machines leave in your clothes and will markedly reduce your drying times. Even if you have a gas dryer, you can still save money on your electric bill. The less the dryer is running, the more you save.

5. Never Use Hot Water in Electric Washers

In addition to saving money on your electric bill, there are so many reasons not to wash your clothes with hot water. First, hot water will shrink your clothes and wear them out quicker. Second, the hot water in your washer doesn’t get hot enough to kill germs. Your dryer will do a much better job of killing germs than hot water in your washer ever could. Finally, heating your electric washing machine water is one of the biggest possible wastes of electricity and money in your home.

6. Wash Full Loads of Laundry

Full load of laundry

Always run full loads of laundry, regardless of what type of washer or dryer you have. You could save up to $30 a year just by doing one less load of laundry a week.

7. Turn Off the Lights

Man turning off the lights

This tip is an obvious one, but so many of us are guilty of not doing it. Whenever you leave a room, always turn off the light. It’s one of the easiest ways to save money on your electric bill.

8. Air Dry Your Dishes

Air drying dishes

Turning off the “heat dry” setting on your electric dishwasher can save you big money on your electric bill over the course of the year. All this setting does is steam your dishes dry. Why would you spend money to heat air to do that when letting them dry on their own is free?

9. Keep Your Refrigerator Cool

Refrigerator doors open

Set your refrigerator for 40 degrees. Many people will tell you to set your refrigerator between 35-38 degrees, but there really is no need for that. Have you ever reached into the back of the fridge and grabbed a frozen-solid stick of butter? Keeping the temperature on your refrigerator set too low will cause it to run less efficiently, costing you money and leaving your refrigerated foods frozen.

10. Use LED Bulbs

Man puts LED bulb in lamp

Switching your incandescent bulbs to LEDs may sound expensive, but when you think how much less electricity LED bulbs use compared to incandescent bulbs over the course of the lifetime of each, you’ll wonder why you ever had incandescents in the first place.

Many LEDs can last an average of 25,000 hours, whereas incandescent bulbs last about 750 hours. When considering how many incandescent bulbs you’d have to buy over the course of 25,000 hours, the cost of purchasing new incandescent bulbs alone is staggering. Added to that is the cost of electricity. It takes $240 to light an incandescent bulb for 25,000 hours as opposed to $40 for an LED. If you multiply all of that by the number of bulbs in your home, you can see how switching over to LED bulbs can potentially save you hundreds on your electric bill over the span of just a decade.

Want more ways to save money on your electric bill? Sign up for NOPEC’s Energy Connection newsletter to receive energy saving tips and chances to win smart home technology.

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