Tips to Save Money on Your Next Electric Bill
By NOPEC on September 29, 2021
It can be easier than you think to save money on your utility bills. When you perform your own home energy audit, you gain valuable insight on how to conserve energy and put money back where it belongs, in your wallet.
By evaluating your home’s energy-usage, you can better understand where you may be losing money. Your findings can then help you make small improvements that will kick-start your energy savings. Keep reading to learn how to cut down on your average electric bill and optimize your home’s performance.
Heating and Cooling Tips
Whether you are in the dead of winter or the dog days of summer, it is important for you to keep an eye on your thermostat to help curb energy costs. 16% of total residential electricity usage goes to heating and cooling. Simple tricks like remembering to turn the thermostat down at night will help you save money and sleep better.
You may also want to consider swapping out your bedsheets each season. Linen sheets during the summer months will provide more breathability, while flannel sheets and throw blankets in the winter will keep you warm and comfortable.
You can also help capture and retain heat in your home by leaving your window blinds open during the day and closed at night. If your home has little-to-no insulation in your floors, covering these surfaces with rugs will further help trap heat.
As air passes through your HVAC unit, potentially harmful particulates such as dust and pollen are captured between the mesh fibers of the unit’s air filter. A dirty furnace or air conditioner filter can slow down airflow and force your appliance to use more energy.
Overused filters can damage your heating and cooling system and can put you and your family at risk of dangerous air-born allergens. You can avoid these health risks as well as high energy bills and repair costs by regularly changing your air filters.
It is recommended that the average suburban homeowner change or clean their air filter every 90 days. Individuals with pets are recommended to change their filters at 20 to 60-day intervals. Pets add dander to your home’s air and can track particulates like dust, pollen, and dirt. These added pollutants cause your filter to degrade faster than one in a home without pets.
If you live by yourself, your home will experience less air pollution and your filter will last longer. This means you can change your air filter every six to 12 months. If you have allergies, it is beneficial to change your air filters every 30 to 45 days to avoid flare-ups.
Laundry Room Tips
There are several ways you can cut down on energy usage and save money in your laundry room. One way to accomplish this is to make sure you are only running your washer when you have a full load of laundry. Your washing machine will use the same amount of energy whether you run a load through at half capacity or full. Prioritizing full loads will ensure you are using your energy wisely.
Another way to save energy is to only use cold water when you wash your clothes. Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a washer, making it one of the biggest wastes of electricity in your home. When you switch your water temperature setting from hot to cold, you will cut your energy use in half.
Another way to save energy in the laundry room is to throw a dry towel in with your next load of clothes. A dry towel will help soak up any excess water your washing machine may have left in your fabrics, which can help drastically reduce dry time.
To reduce energy use in your kitchen and save money, turn off the “heat dry” setting on your electric dishwasher. This optional setting creates hot steam to dry your dishes, which inevitably wastes energy and money. Let your dishes air dry instead of using this setting.
Like your washing machine, dishwashers use the same amount of energy and water regardless of the size of the load. Make sure you run full loads of dishes to get the most out of your energy usage.
Have you ever caught yourself staring into the refrigerator, trying to decide what to eat? When you keep that door open, you allow all the cold air to escape. This loss means your refrigerator and freezer must put in more work to maintain the proper temperature. Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut whenever possible to avoid putting unnecessary energy usage.
To further save on energy, it is recommended that you set your fridge to 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. This range will keep your food safe, without forcing your fridge to maintain a temperature that is needlessly too cold.
The placement of your refrigerator will also help cut down on unnecessary energy costs. Position your refrigerator away from a heat sources such as ovens, dishwashers, and windows to reduce the heat around the exterior of your fridge. This strategy will make it so that the cooling elements of your refrigerator don’t have to work as hard to keep the interior contents cool.
There are several ways you can save water in your home, but the number one tip is to be mindful of just how much water you use. Check your water pipes, toilets, and faucets for leaks and repair any you find. You can also turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving to save water and money.
You can also install water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators to cut down on excessive home energy costs. Energy-efficient showerheads run anywhere from $10-$20, and faucet aerators typically cost between $15-$35. When you install a low-flow showerhead or faucet, you use less water and can save you up to $145 each year on electricity.
Appliance and Electronic Tips
Americans waste about $50 a year on inefficient electrical devices that are constantly plugged into an outlet. When a device is plugged in, it is using electricity whether you are using it or not. The simplest response is to unplug whatever you can if you don’t need it running electricity.
If you want to know which idle devices in your home are costing you money, you can purchase a Kill A Watt Meter. This device measures the amount of electricity used by devices when they are plugged into an outlet. The results can help inform which items you should unplug when they are not in use and which ones may require that constant connection.
When you switch to energy-saving products like LED bulbs, you use up to 90% less energy than if you continued using standard incandescent bulbs. An LED light cost more money upfront, but because they use a fraction of the energy incandescent bulbs use, they will save you money in the long run.
Most LEDs can last an average of 25,000 hours, while incandescent bulbs last a mere 750 hours. That’s more than 33 incandescent bulbs you’d have to purchase, as opposed to just one LED. In addition to that, there’s the cost of electricity. It takes $240 to light an incandescent bulb for 25,000 hours as opposed to $40 for an LED. A switch to LED can potentially save you thousands over the span of just a decade.
Tags: Energy Tips, Energy Efficiency, Energy Bill
Categories: Energy Efficiency