Saving on your monthly electricity bill is possible in just a few easy steps. Check out this guide for ways to lower your costs now without much effort.
Avoid Peak Energy Hours
Image via Flickr via Kenny Louie
Time of day matters when it comes to your electric bill. The utility company has hours it marks as “peak usage” during every season. Your power provider sets higher rates at these times because of greater usage demands on the local grid. These are the hours — generally between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM — when people get home from work and crank up their heat or air conditioners. To save money on your electric bill, run the air conditioner less between these hours during the summer months. If your home uses electric heating, you’ll want to turn on the heat less during the winter at those peak usage hours.
Unplug All Unused Appliances
Even powered-off appliances still use a small amount of electricity. Leaving your computer on sleep mode while still plugged in also continues to pull electricity. Over the month, these devices will keep using power and adding to your electric bill. Turning off the lights and your electronic appliances is a good first step, but unplugging them is the only sure bet. While it’s not smart to unplug your refrigerator every night, you can definitely unplug the hairdryer, coffeemaker, and other assorted devices that don’t perform essential functions.
Use Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
Energy-efficient lightbulbs run three to 25 times longer than their traditional counterparts and use 25 to 80 percent less power. Not only can you save money on your electric bill by switching to them, you’ll also need to buy fewer bulbs in the future. It’s not out of the ordinary for a single energy-efficient bulb to last more than 10,000 hours, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. These bulbs will cost you about $0.11 per kilowatt-hour over their life — a sincere bargain.
Inspect Your Home Heating System
Home heating takes up 30 percent of your electrical costs during the year. Your home heating system can control that cost through efficient operation, but it can’t make optimal performance on its own. A dirty HVAC unit can cause your electric bill to rise due to inefficiency. To solve the problem before it starts, call in a professional home heating inspector to run a diagnostic on your equipment. This professional can change filters, identify components that need replacing, and make necessary repairs. The money you pay now to keep your home heating unit running smoothly will pay dividends in lower energy costs during the winter.
Rearrange Your Furniture
Is your sofa blocking a heating vent? Heavy curtains blocking the air conditioner? Take some advice for easy tips to save on your electric bill from the pro’s at powerexperts.co.uk. The errant feng shui could be the cause of your steadily rising electricity bill. Rearrange your furniture to free up vents and improve air flow throughout your living spaces. You’ll use the thermostat less because your heating and cooling systems don’t need to work harder to keep up comfortable temperatures. Less power use leads to a lower electricity bill and a longer life for an (often expensive) HVAC system.
Turn Down the Heat
The strategy sounds simple, but most people ignore it. Lowering your heat or raising your air conditioner temperature settings by just three degrees can save you money on your electric bill every month. Adjust by small temperature increments so you don’t feel uncomfortable. Learn to live life at this adjusted temperature in the name of your savings account. If you don’t work from home, there’s no reason to keep the heat going while you’re out of the house. Turn down the heat to 58 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re at the office. It costs less to heat up your house than to keep the environment consistently warm.
Once you adjust your home heating and cooling strategy, stay vigilant that every member of the household is onboard. Keep a steady temperature on your thermostat and take the family out to a nice dinner with all the money you save.
Jonathan Lister is a novelist, content strategist, and savings-minded homeowner. His latest novel, Bullet: a Demos City Novel, is available through J Taylor Publishing.