Electric Bills Killing Your Budget? Follow These Tips
Nobody will argue that the cost of living is rising these days at an alarming rate. That means that many of us are either working more and/or looking for ways to cut expenses. If you haven’t yet considered your electric bills, now’s the time to do it.
Tips to Help You Cut Your Electric Bills and Save Money
1) Go Solar: Considering that heating and cooling account for about 54% of your overall electric bills, going solar is probably the most cost effective way to cut your electric bills. If, however, the cost of switching over to solar is out of your reach right now, don’t despair. All is not lost.
2) Control the Sun’s Heat: When I moved into a newly constructed house several years ago, my great room was flooded with sunshine in the afternoons. It was summer and the heat was unbearable – that is until plantation blinds were installed. I quickly discovered that if I closed the blinds in the afternoon it kept out the heat and kept down my electric bills. During the winter months, the opposite was true. I kept the blinds open on sunny afternoons. My furnace didn’t have to kick on as much and my electric bills benefited.
3) Maintain Your HVAC: A yearly cleaning and checkup, as well as regular filter changes will not only prolong the life of your HVAC system, but will also keep it fine-tuned and functioning at peak capacity. That spells lower electric bills.
4) Thermostat Programming: Program your thermostat to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year, and program the thermostat to adjust the temperature when you are sleeping or away from home. Just a one or two degree adjustment can end up making a big difference in your electric bills.
5) Use LED Light Bulbs: Statistics show that LED light bulbs are 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
6) Energy Efficient Appliances: Make sure that all of your appliances have the energy star for efficiency. The less energy used, the lower your electric bills.
7) Plug Devices Into Power Strips: Even when devices are turned off they can still use some power. If you plug your devices into power strips with on/off switches, you can easily turn off the power source when your devices are not in use.
8) Make Sure Your House Is Air Tight: Check around all of your windows and doors to make sure there are no drafts. A tight house will retain cool in summer and heat in winter.
9) Don’t Forget the Water Heater, Washing Machine and Dishwasher: Water heaters should be no hotter than 120 degrees. Reset if necessary. Get used to washing your clothes in warm or cold water instead of hot. Reprogram your dishwasher so the heat dry control is turned off.
In addition to the above list, two things that you can do outside of your home that will reduce your electric bills are the following:
1) Plant Shade Trees: Shade trees that are planted on the sunny side of your house can act as a wonderful heat reducer in summer.
2) Shade Your HVAC Unit: Placing an awning over, or tree near, your unit can help cut energy consumption. Just be sure that the unit is kept free from any debris or foliage that would hinder its performance.
These tips might seem small, but they are very effective when you are trying to cut your electric bills and save money.