One of the most significant costs associated with homeownership is electricity. Especially if you live in a climate where it gets extremely hot or extremely cold. This post will go over some simple changes you can make to cut your electric bill in half.
Read your electric meter
If you’re going to cut your electricity costs, you need to know how to read your electric meter so you can monitor how much electricity your home actually uses in real-time. Ask your utility provider for precise information on reading your electric meter, or check their website for instructions.
Once you know your home’s average electricity use, you can find ways for you and your family to save on the electric bill. For best results, get everyone in your household involved. An excellent way to motivate the kids is to stress that the family can use any dollar savings from the electricity bill for other fun things, like entertainment, dining out, or vacations.
One of the best ways to turn your home into an energy-efficient house is to check for leaks and insulation inefficiency. If an energy audit shows that your house is not performing efficiently, you may need to seal your house to help you save on costs associated with heating and cooling.
Know what your home uses
First things first, if you want to start saving money on your electric bill, you need to know and undertand how much electricity your house uses. Do this by taking a gander at your home’s electricity bills from the past year or the past few years if you can. Then, break down the average costs per season so you can see which months are costing you the most money so you’ll know which improvements will give you the best return.
Use a programmable thermostat
There are many new technological advances designed to conserve energy and electricity use. For example, programmable thermostats can help you save power by pre-setting temperatures when people are home and actually in need of heating or cooling for comfort. You can even control some programmable thermostats remotely with your cellphone, allowing you to change the settings while you are not home.
You can also change out any incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs, which are about four times more energy-efficient and much longer-lasting. Also, adding timers to lamps and power strips to computers and electronics will help you save energy. Always remember to unplug unused electrical devices to avoid wasting money on phantom power.
Replace your appliances
ENERGY STAR certified appliances have two tags that tell you the purchase price and the price that it costs to operate the machine to help you budget for future costs.
Invest in newer, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, which are likely your home’s most significant energy users. Suppose you don’t want to make this substantial investment, or your heating and cooling systems are relatively new. In that case, you can still save money on electricity and energy costs by having your air conditioning and heating units professionally inspected and cleaned. Don’t forget to change the filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer to help them run efficiently and effectively.
You can also strategically plant some shade trees to help cool your home in the summer months. For best results, ask a landscape professional which trees and plants will thrive in your particular area.
Use windows and skylights
Another home improvement that can help decrease lighting costs and electricity use is to add energy-efficient windows and skylights. Make sure you check the energy performance ratings of windows, doors, and skylights to learn how well they control temperature and transfer sunlight. You may also want to consider an investment in alternative energy technology for your home, like solar, geothermal, or wind power.
Conserving energy in your home
If you don’t have room in your budget for the above-mentioned energy efficiency home improvements, try conserving energy in your home.
Ways to conserve energy in your home include:
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater
- Lower the number of dishwasher and washing machine loads you do
- Clean the lint from your dryer screen to help it run efficiently and reliably
- Learn how to properly stack your dishwasher to help it run as efficiently as possible
Try a few or all of these tips to significantly reduce your electricity costs until you develop a plan for energy efficiency that works for you and your family’s needs.