With so many electrical appliances in the average home, as well as the power required to heat or cool your living space, you may find your electric bill rising every month without knowing why.
Understanding the ways in which you inadvertently waste power is an important step to lowering your electric bill and saving money. It is equally important to recognize the negative impact that overusing energy has on you, your family and the wider environment.
Reducing the amount of electricity you use is easy when you learn which areas of your home are causing the biggest power drains. Heating and cooling costs are a problem for many Americans, and you can reduce these expenses in one of several ways.
Other areas to consider are the types of appliances you use and when you choose to use various electronic items around your home. These easy points help you lower your electric bill today.
How Overusing Energy Negatively Affects You
Overusing energy directly affects the amount you must pay for electricity. In areas with a dense population, this is even more expensive than usual as prices are often higher due to increased demand. Overusing your appliances mean they wear out more quickly and require replacement earlier.
It is important to note the environmental damage that results from excessive power usage. By increasing your carbon footprint through overusing energy, you are contributing to the planet’s greenhouse gases and to climate change.
Learn About Reducing Electricity Consumed for Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling costs are among the biggest issues when it comes to a high electric bill.
This varies depending on where you live and the year’s temperatures, though anyone can use common tips to help with this expense. Make sure your windows are clean in winter, as the sun warms the interior of your home. In summer, use blinds and curtains to help keep things cool.
Keeping your vents open and clear is an important part of saving money as this allows your heating or cooling system to operate effectively around the home. The idea that you can keep vents closed to save on heating or cooling is a common misconception. When cooling a home, closed vents typically prevent your cooling system from working and causes the coils to freeze.
Air flow is improved through clean air filters. This is a good aspect of home care to prioritize, as filters are relatively cheap. Make sure to measure your filters before shopping and look for bulk deals to save on long term costs.
Ceiling fans are an excellent way to help heat or cool a room. They do not change the temperature but control the flow of hot or cold air. Modern ceiling fans often have a reverse setting. This means they push hot air into the room during the colder months, allowing use all year round.
Check your insulation and seals regularly to ensure hot or cold air is not allowed through. This includes the following areas:
- Hot water pipes.
- Water heaters.
- Air conditioning ducts.
- Outlets and light switches.
- Windows and doors.
- Fridge and freezer doors.
For those with a larger budget, an automated heating and cooling system is useful. This controls the temperature precisely and enables you to save money by reducing the energy needed in your home.
How to Reduce Electricity Spikes Caused by your Washer, Dryer and Dishwasher
Washers, dryers and dishwashers use a large amount of energy and raise your power bill as a result. Some easy solutions to this issue include using cold water when washing your clothes. The energy saved by not heating the water for the washer is significant. In addition, cold water is often preferable for laundry, as it prevents fading and shrinking.
If the weather allows it, try air drying your clothes instead of using a dryer. Be sure to keep your dryer vents clear and clean to allow efficient air flow.
Dishwashers are more energy efficient than hand washing as they use less water but be sure to fill the dishwasher completely before running dishes through.
Unplug Appliances and Video Game Consoles When not in Use
A quick way to make sure you are not wasting power is to unplug any unused electronic appliances. These appliances often use power after they have been turned off and this drains electricity for no reason. Electronics with clocks, timers and displays are often the cause of this type of drain.
If you have any video game consoles in your home, be aware of the draining effect. Popular consoles, such as an Xbox One or PS4, use electricity even when you are not using them.
The Xbox One uses up to 92 watts when not in use, compared with an estimated 122 watts when in use. The PS4 uses 130 watts when not in use, and 137 when being used. Make sure to always unplug video game consoles when they are not being used.
How to Give Your Lightbulbs and Upgrade for More Savings
LED bulbs use less power than older bulb types. Replacing the bulbs in your home is a one-off expense that results in extensive savings in the long term. Save even more power by installing a light dimmer as this allows you to use less power whenever possible.
Leaving outdoor lights on creates a higher electric bill. An easy fix for this is to install a motion sensor for your outside light which only turns on when necessary.
How to Give Your Home an Energy Efficient Upgrade
While larger structural upgrades are expensive, smaller home upgrades have a big impact on your energy costs. Replacing all your insulation is expensive but adding draft guards to your entryways can help keep the cold out. A programmable thermostat is effective as well. Purchase models that are controlled by apps for easy use.
Other quick upgrades include items such as energy efficient shower heads and toilets, and aerators for your faucets. Cleaning your refrigerator coils and replacing your furnace filters regularly are examples of smaller tasks providing a significant impact on your electric bill.
If you are considering a larger project, it is worth looking at the possibility of solar panels for your home. The initial costs are significant, but solar power results in yearly savings on your power bills in the long run.