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10 Best DIY Hacks for Saving Money on Electricity

By NOPEC on  August 6, 2018

When you’re looking to cut your electricity bill to a more manageable number, 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.

Set your thermostat lower at night

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 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 A/C filter.

Check your A/C 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.

When was the last time you used that VCR 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 has an impact on your power grid because it uses something called standby power. To save money on your electrical bill, just remember: If you haven’t used it in at least a month, unplug it!

4. Throw in the towel.

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 electricity. The less the dryer is running, the more you save.

5. Never use hot water in electric washers.

Wash in Cold Water

First of all, hot water will shrink your clothes and wear them out quicker. Second of all, 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 energy in your home.

6. Wash full loads of laundry

Wash full loads of laundry to save energy

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

7. Turn off the lights.

Turn of the lights when you leave the room

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 serves no purpose and just sucks electricity.

8. Air-dry your dishes.

Turning off the “heat dry” setting on your electric dishwasher can save you quite a bit 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 cool.

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. Get the LED out.

LED's last 25X longer than incandescent bubls infographic

Switching your incandescent bulbs to LEDs may sound expensive, but when you think how much less electricity LED bulbs use compared to incandescents 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. Incandescents last around 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 thousands of dollars over the span of just a decade.

There are many more energy-saving tips and tricks where these came from in NOPEC’s interactive Tip House. Click each room to find out how to save energy every season of the year.

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