Here are 10 ways that can help you lower your bill in any season:
1. Use a programmable thermostat.
The source of our largest expense at home is heating and cooling, but based on external temperature and personal preference, it can be subject to large spikes. You can reduce the energy you consume and lower your electric bill by resisting the urge to turn up the heat or turn the thermostat down, but when that isn’t enough you should consider installing a programmable thermostat. With this device, you can simply program the temperature according to time of day without the need for adjusting it manually. This will allow the thermostat to make the changes automatically which will not only help your home to be more energy efficient, it also allow you to circumvent some of the traditional expenses of heating and cooling. This can be done by having your thermostat set the temperature to more cost-effective levels during periods in which no one is home or when you’re asleep. This will save you money and is even better because you can have your thermostat ready to set things right for the time you awake or arrive home.
2. Extra-insulate your home.
In the winter months, the bitter cold of the outside temperature can threaten the comfort within homes. There can be many causes for this but one of the most prevalent stems from poor insulation. Insulation is the protection that enables your home to maintain its temperature, both the heat during the cold months and the cool during the summer months. And because of its capability, insulation enables you to save energy and ultimately money. As a result, it is important to check the insulation in your home, from your walls to your pipes, to reduce the need for heating and to cut the cost of your electric bill. You can even wrap extra insulation around pipes to give your water heater a break from working so hard during the winter months and to prevent the pipes from freezing.
3. Wear comfortable clothing.
One of the most effective ways to keep yourself comfortable within your home throughout the year without spending a lot of money is to dress up or down based on the temperature. While in the comfort of your own home, don’t hesitate to bundle up a bit more in the winter or go for short sleeves and a pair of shorts in the summer and spring. As you make the adjustment to your attire, you can manage how you’re feeling without utilizing any electricity-draining appliances or devices to regulate the temperature. This will keep you feeling cozy while still preventing you from running up your electric bill unnecessarily.
4. Replace your air filter.
As you go about doing your housekeeping, be sure to keep an eye on your air filter. The purpose of the air filter is to catch debris like dust, pollen, and lint, and circulate the clean air throughout the cooling and heating system. This helps to keep the HVAC in proper working order which is the key to energy-efficient central air and heating systems. The process of replacing your air filters also helps to ensure your system is working optimally, which utilizes less energy than a system with dirty filters. This reduces the work your HVAC system has to do, in turn saving energy and lowering the amount you’ll have to pay on your electric bill.
5. Lower the temperature on the water heater.
Coming in a close second to the cost of heating and cooling within the home is the water heater. This is the appliance that is responsible for distributing hot water to sinks and showers, along with laundry machines and dishwashers. A portion of the expense comes from the heater maintaining a store of warm water in a tank. There are tankless water heaters, however the majority within homes come with a tank. By lowering the temperature a few degrees, you can shave some money off your electric bill. The ideal temperature for heaters to be set at is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In the event you ever go on vacation or are spending an extended period of time away from your home, turning off the water heater while you’re gone is another way you can save money.
6. Balance Electricity use by using appliances strategically.
Using your appliances strategically can be very helpful when striving to lower your electric bill as it often allows us to be more efficient with the things we do. This can be seen in a number of contexts, as everything from the dishwasher to the laundry machines can be gamed to reduce their expense. One example of this is drying loads of clothing consecutively rather than waiting between loads, which minimizes energy consumption because the unit remains warmer longer. Even when you’re doing dishes you can lower your electric bill by fully loading the machine before washing instead of only partially filling it. Strategies can vary, especially based upon your current consumption behaviors, but doing your best to use them wisely is a surefire way to put money back in your pocket.
7. Save Electricity by Washing clothes in cold water.
The process of washing clothing involves a lot and when it comes to energy, there are several ways to make it more efficient. One of the best methods for doing so involves adjusting the temperature of the water you use when washing your garments. In order to provide warm water to your washer, the water heater has to work hard and use a considerable amount of electricity. This energy use can be mitigated however by washing your clothes in cold water. It is still an effective means of cleaning your wardrobe but it won’t cost you as much to do so.
8. Reduce Heat Waste by Checking doors and windows for leaks.
It is absolutely essential to check your doors and windows for leaks, openings, and broken seals. Over time these openings appear in our home and can go undetected, having a number of effects on our environment with the most profound likely being their contribution to a high electric bill. Caulking, weatherstripping or replacing seals on your windows and doors as necessary will keep cold air from coming in or hot air from escaping. This will keep you from spending unnecessary money and will improve the overall feel of your home.
9. Check that your appliances work properly.
Appliances that don’t work properly are an energy drain on your home. Part of keeping them in tip top condition involves checking them regularly as well as using them. Be sure to check that all appliances are cleaned, repaired, and working properly on a regular schedule. For many larger appliances, a single annual check up is all that is needed and though it may cost you money at the time, the amount you’ll save on needless electricity use and problems that could arise if devices go uninspected is more valuable. If you prefer to simply replace your appliances, be sure to do so with Energy Star models that focus on efficiency.
10. Consider a prepaid electric bill plan.
One option not often discussed is the possibility of switching from a long-term contract to a prepaid electricity plan with an electric company that gives you the option to pay only for the electricity you use. This can be particularly helpful for those trying to cut down on their electricity use or stay within a certain budget as service is only provided up to the point of the payments. Over time, households will be able to track the circumstances of their usage and the causes of spikes in energy use, which can better help them plan and budget for energy use moving forward. As is to be expected, seasonal variation does occur so keeping an eye out for that will prove beneficial in ensuring year-round savings.