There are about a zillion ways out there for us to save money in our daily lives, give or take a few bazillion.
One of the best places to save money is our very own home. In today’s technology-driven world, more and more of our stuff requires electricity to function, so learning how to save money on your electric bill should be one of the top ways to save money at home. Some methods require simple habit changes; others are significant upgrades, while most fall somewhere in between.
Below are some ideas for lowering your electric bill.
How To Save Money on Your Electic Bill
Low Hanging Fruit
Some ways of saving money on your electric bill are easy and require nothing more than doing them. Below are some of the easier ways to save on your electric bill.
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Change the Temp
One of the most obvious and easiest ways to lower your electric bill is to change your home’s temperature. Even adjusting by a degree or two can have a significant impact on your energy use. For example, will you notice the difference between heating to 68 degrees instead of 70 in the winter? Or the difference between cooling to 73 instead of 71 in the summer?
Likely not, but you will notice the savings on your bill.
Dress for Success
If you want to go all-in on the temperature change, simply dressing better can help. Layer up in the winter, and you won’t have to heat your house as much. But, admittedly, you can’t exactly walk around in your birthday suit in summer, so this is mainly a winter solution.
Open a Window
It doesn’t sound like much of a tip, but we often leave our cooling in the summer on cruise control. However, there are many times that the summer heat lets up, and it’s rather nice outside. So turn off the AC and open a window to get some cool fresh air into your home, even it’s just at night when the temp has cooled a bit.
Turn off the Lights
Another “tip” that isn’t really a tip here. Turning off the lights sounds simple enough, but how often have you walked around your home and found basically everything is still on. Lights, TVs, other appliances always seemed to get left on even when no one is in the room. So making sure you turn off everything not in use can help reduce those electricity bills.
Use Led Bulbs
Not all light bulbs are created equal when it comes to energy efficiency. However, LED bulbs use less energy and last longer, saving you money on multiple fronts.
Lower Temperature on Your Hot Water Heater
Did you know that you can set how hot your water gets? For starters, make sure it’s not about 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid getting scalded. Then, you can continue to lower it just a few degrees to save a bit more on that electricity bill.
Wash Laundry in Cold Water
You likely do far more laundry than you realize, and for each load you do, washing in hot water can be a drain on your wallet for all that hot water. Many clothes and laundry detergents are designed to work with water of any temperature these days. Try using cold for your next laundry day and watch your high electric bills wash away.
Take Shorter, Colder Showers
You’ve heard it before, but you can save money this way. Hot water costs money, so the less you use it, the better. Taking a colder shower or, I guess, just a less hot shower and shaving a few minutes off your time can save gallons of hot water which is money right back into your pocket.
Unplug Small Appliances
Similar to turning off lights not in use, unplug small appliances to save some electricity as well. Even when our devices are off, they use small amounts of power when they are plugged in. Toasters, phones, tablets, coffee makers, laptops can all be unplugged when not in use to help lower that bill.
Light Blocking Shades in Summer
Using light-blocking shades can help keep your bedrooms at a more comfortable temperature in the summer without using your AC units. If you have central air conditioning, having light-blocking shades in other rooms, especially if the thermostat is in it, can also help keep the whole house a bit cooler.
Don’t Leave the Door Open
I feel like parents have been yelling, “Don’t leave the door open, I’m not heating the whole neighborhood” since the beginning of time and will be forever, but alas, it’s true. There are many reasons that a door to the outside world might be left open, and it really does let out heat and cool air. So make sure doors are not left open for extended periods of time.
Don’t Open the Oven To Check
Not opening the door is not only sound advice for your entryways but also your oven! A lot of heat escapes every time you open the oven door, and you literally pay for it. After losing its heat, the oven will have to get itself back up to the right temperature. Most of us likely have a gas oven, but if you are using an electric oven, make sure to keep that door closed!
Turn off the Oven Early
Sticking with the oven, simply turning it off a few minutes early when cooking can be an excellent way to save a few bucks. If your recipe calls for 45 minutes, turning the oven off after 40 won’t change much, as long as you follow the tip above. This can avoid any late heating the oven might do.
Turn Down Your Fridge
Did you know that you can change your refrigerator’s temperature too? Most have a knob you can turn that will make it cooler or warmer in there. Make sure you have yours set to about 40 degrees; any colder than that is electricity you don’t need to use.
Right Appliance for the Right Job
Staying in the kitchen, make sure you are using the right appliance for the right job. For example, don’t use the oven if a toaster will do. Chop smaller vegetables with a knife instead of a blender; you get the idea.
Use Everything Less
The idea here is simple, using your electronics less means you’ll use less electricity and therefore have a smaller electricity bill. Air dry your clothes, chop your food with a knife, use a fan instead of your AC, try watching less TV or using your phone less. All these little bits of electricity saving can add up.
Aside from the low-hanging fruit discussed above, a bit part of saving money on your electric bill is proper maintenance of your home and the things in it that use electricity. Thus, if you’re looking for how to save money on your electric bill, you will also need a more hands-on approach to make sure your things are working properly.
Common things to check are discussed below.
Make Sure Your Appliances Are Working Properly
Making sure your appliances are working correctly with proper maintenance may cost some money upfront but will save you in the long run. Having efficient working appliances will help lower that electric bill and help your appliances last longer.
Replace Your Air Filter
Whether it is your central air unit, window AC unit, air purifier, or even your car(okay, that won’t save your electricity bill, but it’s still good to know), having a dirty air filter will make that appliance have to work a bit harder to function correctly. Make sure to clean or replace the air filter when necessary to ensure they are running at top efficiency at all times.
Weather Stripping on Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are full of drafts that again leak the air in our homes that we attempt to keep at a comfortable temperature. Reducing these leaks will help reduce your electric bill. Installing a few strips of weatherstripping is a great way to seal up those draft doors and windows for good, keeping the air in your house and money in your wallet.
Clean Your Air Ducts
You’ll likely need to hire someone to perform this task, but having your air ducts cleaned every few years will not only clear a safety hazard from your home, but it will again allow your heating\cooling systems to function at their best efficiency.
Aside from simple changes and regular maintenance, upgrading your appliances and home functions can also help you save money on your electric bill. Some money-saving tips require some upfront costs but will pay off in the long run. Here are some upgrades you can make to your home to lower that electric bill.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
This is one of the easier upgrades to do to save money. There are all sorts of programmable thermostat options these days. On the simpler side, you can have a set schedule to only heat and cool your home during certain times of the day. You can go super techy with smart thermostats with wifi and everything, so you’ll never use any more electricity than you need to.
Insulate Your House
Insulating your home will keep it at a more stable temperature in both the summer and winter months. Keep the warm air in during the winter and the cool air in during the summer. This will allow your systems to run less often and work less to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Install a Tankless Hot Water Heater
Tankless water heaters can be a bit pricer than their traditional counterparts, but they can also be 8-14% more efficient, which can add up to a lot of savings. That’s more efficient when washing dishes, taking a shower, doing laundry (but you’re using cold water now, right?!), or anything else that may require lots of hot water.
Use Energy Star Appliances
If you have older appliances, they may be guzzling up electricity far more than newer, more modern appliances. Ovens, refrigerators, Air conditioners, really any appliance you can think of has an energy start approved version. Upgrading to these energy-saving appliances can save you a ton on that electricity bill.
Use Dimmer Switches
Not all bulbs and lights can be turned into dimmers, but they are a helpful way of lowering your bill for the ones that can. Lights don’t always need to be on full blast, and having the ability to lower them when needed can be a good energy saver.
Use Motions Lights
Along the same lines, we’re human, and we can forget to turn the lights off altogether. Luckily, technology has our back. Installing motion sensors in your home is easier than ever. Pop a few in the bathrooms, kitchen, even you’re basement or garage, and you’ll see immediate savings.
Get Solar Panels
Solar Panels might be one of the most significant commitments you can make to saving money on your electric bill, but it’s also the only one on here that can reduce that number to zero. That’s not to say they don’t come at a price, you’ll have a loan to pay back, but in the very long term, you’ll more than likely make money from having them. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you look into all installers and financing options in your area, as different states have different requirements when creating a solar panel system on your home.
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Hopefully, you’ve found a few tips here that will help you reduce your energy consumption. Not only will it save you money, but it will help the environment too. Many ways of saving electricity are simply changing some of our habits. Others take a bit more work, but you’ll typically see more significant savings with them. Do them all or pick and choose; no matter which route you take, you’ll be saving energy and money!