LED lamp with light-saving technology in our hands
Did you know the average US utility bill is over $ 100 a month? It's true – and high electricity bills aren't just on your wallet. The waste of energy, which is often the cause of this high bill, is also kind to the environment.
Saving energy doesn't mean sitting in the dark in your living room or piling up dirty laundry and dishes. It simply means using less energy to do your normal tasks.
Don't worry, it's not as difficult as it sounds. Here are 10 tips for reducing your energy bills, from small, inexpensive changes to major renovations.
So whatever your budget, you should have some energy saving ideas to use when you reach the bottom of this list. Let's begin!
1. Take inventory of your behavior
Before spending a dime or making changes to your home, it is important to take an honest inventory of your behavior regarding energy use. Do you leave the lights on when you leave a room? Are you running the heating or air conditioning more than necessary?
One of the most effective ways to reduce energy costs is to keep your heating and air conditioning running less. This is because the cost of heating and cooling your home is typically half of your total electricity bill.
However, you don't need to freeze in winter or cook in summer. Adjusting the temperature of your home a few degrees to reduce the load on your HVAC unit may change more than you might think.
If you're not sure what makes up most of the cost in your home, check with your electricity company. Many offer a free service where a representative will come to your home to check and determine which devices are using the most electricity. You can also check your insulation and identify possible air leaks.
2. Drop the lightbulbs
Another simple, inexpensive change that can make a huge difference is swapping out your light bulbs for more energy efficient options. Some excellent options are incandescent halogen lamps, light-emitting diode lamps (LEDs), and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
Depending on how many lights you have at home, this can take some time. In the end, however, it is worth the effort as these lamps use 25-80% less electricity.
When you buy your lightbulbs, you will find that the energy efficient options are a little more expensive. Note, however, that these lamps last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lamps and save your energy costs. So in the long run they are much cheaper.
3. Use a programmable thermostat
If you are often away from home or if setting your thermostat is a hassle, a programmable thermostat might be for you. This can save a huge amount of money as you don't have to update your HVAC system.
Programmable thermostats do not have to be set manually, but allow a schedule to be created and adapt accordingly.
Let's say you go to work at 8 a.m., come home at 6 p.m., and go to sleep at 11 p.m. You can set your thermostat to raise the temperature when you are not home, lower it just before you arrive, and lower it a little further so that you have a comfortable sleeping temperature at home when you are ready to go to bed.
Other features of higher quality thermostats include filter change notifications and problems with your HVAC unit. You can also purchase a smart programmable thermostat that you can control directly from your mobile phone.
4. Install the power strips
Believe it or not, you probably have a vampire in your house right now. Yes, some of our favorite electronic devices are energy vampires that create phantom power loads. This means that they are always consuming electricity even when you are not using them.
Seemingly harmless devices like computer and phone chargers, televisions, cable boxes, game consoles, audio systems, and desktop computers can add hundreds to your annual energy bills.
Suppose you just bought a brand new laptop from lenovo.com. For the sake of simplicity, decide to leave the charger plugged in behind your desk whether you need it or not.
Well, this charger adds about six bucks to your yearly expenses, which doesn't seem like a lot, right? However, if you add up the different chargers and other electronic devices that never leave their power outlet, you might see a much higher amount.
Fear not, you don't have to sacrifice convenience to save money. All you have to do is install power strips in the places where you tend to plug in your electronics. This allows you to turn off the power strip when you have finished using it instead of unplugging the power cord. This will stop the energy vampires!
5. Pay attention to the cost of water heating
Do you know how much of your electricity bill goes to water heating? Chances are it will make an important contribution. If you are unsure of how much it will cost you to heat the water inside, this energy cost calculator can give you a rough idea.
There are four ways to reduce the cost of water heating. These include: using less hot water, insulating water heaters and pipes, lowering the temperature of your water heater, and buying a new one overall.
How do you use less hot water? If you have an efficient dishwasher, you can also try taking shorter showers or using your dishwasher instead of hand washing.
And surprisingly, cold water is better for your clothes than hot. Using cold water will keep the colors of your clothes and last longer. The only things that should be washed in hot water are towels and sheets.
When looking to buy a new water heater, there are two things to keep in mind. You need to choose the type that suits your needs and consider the type of fuel you need.
Instantaneous water heaters are ideal for families with small families, for example, as they are very energy efficient but are not able to process more than one hot water consumption at the same time.
6. Replace your Windows
If your house has single pane, old or poor quality windows, you can increase your monthly energy bills by 10-25%. To avoid possible loss of heat and air from your windows, you should replace them with high-quality double panes.
Depending on the climate you live in, you need to look for certain characteristics in your windows. For those who live in cooler climates, look for gas-filled windows with low-E coatings. This significantly reduces your heating costs. You should also consider installing storm windows indoors or outdoors to further reduce costs.
For those who live in warmer climates, the same low-e coatings can reduce the heat gain from light reflection, thereby reducing the stress on your air conditioner. It's also a good idea to invest in shutters, awnings, and shutters to reduce the amount of direct sunlight that enters your home.
7. Install energy efficient equipment
It's no surprise that devices often make up a significant portion of monthly energy consumption. It's understandable if you don't have the budget to swap out all of your devices at the same time. However, since your devices are running out of steam, they should be replaced with more energy efficient options.
Regardless of which device you're shopping for, pay close attention to two factors: the purchase price and the annual operating costs. As with lightbulbs, energy-efficient devices may cost more upfront but pay for themselves in lower energy consumption and longer lifespan.
Look for the Energy Star label before purchasing. This is a federal guarantee that your chosen device will use less energy than standard models, both in operation and in standby mode.
Your specific energy savings depend on the device. Energy Star certified washing machines use 25% less energy, while Energy Star refrigerators use 9% less energy than traditional options.
Lower your electricity bill by saving energy
Saving energy is not only good for the environment, it also saves tons of electricity costs!
And as you can see, while there are more expensive options, you may just need to make a few minor adjustments to your daily habits. If you decide to go for one of the more expensive options, know that it will add to the value of your property, which often results in a wise investment.
You can find more tips and tricks for saving money on our blog!