How to Cut Energy Costs
When the temperature drops, often your utility bill does the opposite. Warming your home can take more energy, which increases your utility bill and costs you money. Here are some tips to save on your electricity bill, not only during the cooler months, but year-round:
Adjust your thermostat.
Setting your thermostat a little lower in the winter or a little higher in the summer can help save you a bundle in electricity costs over the year. During the winter, take advantage of the time during the day when you are away at work or bundled up under the blankets at night to turn your thermostat down. For every two degrees, you can save about 3% on your energy bill. If you don't want the hassle of turning your thermostat up and down every day, install a programmable thermostat to do the work for you.
Make your house weatherproof to enjoy savings on your energy bill during summer or winter. Use inexpensive caulking or weatherproofing around windows and doors to keep the warm toasty air in your home during the winter and outside during the summer.
Change your filter.
A large chunk of your energy bill comes from heating and cooling your home. Regularly change the filter on your unit to keep your system from working harder than it needs to. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this can save you as much as 15% on your bill.
Talk to a pro.
Many utility companies offer an energy audit to help improve the energy efficiency in your home. This can be an inspection, where someone walks around your home, or a simple questionnaire to analyze ways to improve. Making some simple tweaks around your house can save you big on your bill.
Say hello sunshine.
In the winter, get free heat courtesy of the sun by opening south- and west- facing windows during the day. In the summer, do the opposite and keep those windows closed with shutters or thermal drapes to keep hot air outside.
Throw cold water on it.
Using cold water to wash clothes in your washing machine, turning the temperature of your hot water heater down and taking shorter showers will reduce your hot water usage, which will decrease the cost of heating water in your home. According to the Department of Energy, heating water can make up around 12% of a utility bill.
Wash full loads.
Because it takes the same amount of energy to wash a load of clothes whether it's large or small, wait until you have a full load to wash. This will save on water usage and the electricity needed to run your washing machine. Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load to make sure it is running efficiently. Run only full loads in your dishwasher to make your household more efficient.
Invest in energy-saving tech.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs and buy Energy Star appliances to make sure you are making the most of your money. Invest in water-saving shower heads to reduce your water usage.
Take a walk around the house and look at your electrical outlets. What's plugged in that's not being used? Did you know that appliances like televisions and phone chargers use electricity even when they're not on? Unplug things that are not in use and work on whittling down your bill, or plug them into a smart power strip which cuts off the electricity when devices aren't in use.
Make some small changes in your household habits now to conserve energy and save on your utility bills.