The Best Ways to Decrease Your Electric Bill
Of course, everyone wants a lower electric bill, but this is sometimes easier said than done. Actions like turning off every light in the house might only save a few pennies each week. To truly reduce your bill, you need to identify the main power drains in your home and find ways to address them. These tips will make it easy to get a noticeable reduction on your electric bill.
Adjust Your HVAC Settings
The top user of energy in your home will always be your heating and cooling systems. Roughly 46% of your power consumption comes from your HVAC, so adjusting it has a huge impact on electric bills. Try to set your thermostat as high as you can in the summer and as low as you can in the winter. Energy experts recommend going up to at least 78 degrees Fahrenheit for your AC and down to at least 68 degrees for your heater.
There are all sorts of ways you can stay comfortable without using so much power on your heating and cooling. The simplest is just adjusting your outfit instead of changing the thermostat. Pulling on a sweater or a pair of shorts can keep you feeling great without using power. You can also install a smart thermostat. These helpful devices learn your heating and cooling preferences and then adjust your temperature to save money. By automatically lowering the power when you sleep or leave the home, smart thermostats can save hundreds.
You can also save energy by:
- Turning on a ceiling fan
- Getting regular maintenance for your HVAC system
- Replacing your air filters regularly
- Sealing gaps around windows and doors
- Opening curtains on sunny winter days
- Using light-blocking shades on sunny summer days
- Sealing any ductwork leaks
Fully Turn Off Electronics You Are Not Using
As electronic devices become more and more prevalent in daily life, the amount of power they use is creeping up. Running a big desktop computer all day or leaving your television on for hours can add a lot of money to your electric bill. These sorts of devices even use power when you think they are off. A device in standby can continue using quite a bit of power. Therefore, it is a good idea to go ahead and set your computer or gaming console to shut down entirely when you are not using them.
Many appliances like televisions also drain power when turned off. This small amount of ambient power leaking might not seem too problematic, but it does add up over time. You may want to consider attaching all your big electronics to a smart power strip. This makes it easy to just switch off all power flowing to the devices when they are not being used.
Rethink Your Water Heating System
Next to HVAC systems, water heaters are the second-highest source of energy usage in the typical home. The average electric water heater uses about 405 kWh of energy each month. However, a few simple changes can greatly reduce the cost of water heating.
First of all, check the temperature on your hot water heater. Lowering it to around 120 degrees reduces energy costs while keeping water nice and warm. If your pipes are not insulated, go ahead and insulate them to keep heat from being lost. Finally, if it is time for a new water heater, look at new tankless models. These save you about $50 a year because you do not have to use electricity to keep a huge tank of water warm all day.
Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Clean and Fully Stocked
Refrigerators and freezers are some of the most power-hungry appliances in any home. Keeping your fridge running constantly is usually unavoidable. However, there are still some ways to help it run as efficiently as possible. A lot of wasted energy comes from your refrigerator having to cool down more cold air after it rushes out while the door is open. Keeping your fridge fully stocked solves this problem because your food’s temperature will not change noticeably just from opening the door.
You also need to keep your fridge clean. A lot of dust and grime can coat the cooling components and put more stress on your motor. Try to leave plenty of space around the tops and sides of your machine if possible. Regularly move it out to clean underneath and behind it. This will improve airflow and boost overall efficiency.
Switch Up Laundry-Day Techniques
Every time you wash your clothes, you use a significant amount of electricity. One of the biggest ways to save on electricity is simply skipping the dryer and using a drying rack instead. Hang your clothes outside on a dry, sunny day to get fresh, clean-smelling clothes. If you do want to use the dryer, always make sure it is free of lint so it can operate efficiently. Try to dry loads of clothes back to back so the dryer does not have to reheat after each load.
You can also save energy by being more thoughtful with the way you wash clothes. Use cold water whenever possible. In addition to saving energy, this is also a lot easier on your clothes. Avoid washing individual garments or small loads of laundry. Instead, wait until you can fill the washer to run it.
Use Kitchen Cooking Appliances Wisely
An oven uses about 75 kWh of energy each month. It also tends to heat up the air, so it can affect the way your HVAC system runs. If you want to cook meals without causing energy spikes, you just need to make a few small changes to your cooking techniques. Cook larger batches that can be eaten for multiple meals. This way, you are not running your oven and stove as much. Many ovens and stoves can be turned off a few minutes before the dish is done cooking. This lets you use the residual heat to cook food instead of having it just leak off into the air.
You can also time your cooking to capitalize on more energy savings. During the warmer parts of the year, try to avoid heating up your home with your oven and stove. Use cooking tools like slow cookers instead, and try to cook during the cooler parts of the day. Winter is a great time to bust out all your lengthy oven and stove recipes. Leave your oven door cracked after you turn it off to let the residual heat warm your home.
When you want to rethink your electric usage, Christian Brothers in Glendale, AZ, is here to help. Our team can recommend energy-efficient devices and give you tips for saving power. Since 1976, we have been assisting Phoenix residents with all sorts of electrical installation and repair services. We also provide plumbing, heating, cooling, and water heater services. To learn more about how we can help you, go ahead and give us a call today.