It’s not cheap to keep the power running. You need to power heating and cooling systems as well as appliances and an increasing number of electrical devices. If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably looking for ways to reduce your electricity bill. Thankfully, there are a number of changes you can make to keep costs down without freezing in winter, sweltering in summer or sitting in the dark.
1. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Your HVAC system is likely to be the biggest contributor to your electric bill. One way to reduce the amount of energy you consume is to install a programmable thermostat. These devices allow you to program the temperature based on the time of day. The thermostat will change automatically so you don’t have to change it manually. During periods when no one is at home, you won’t be wasting money cooling an empty house.
2. Step Up Your Insulation
If your home is extremely cold during winter, you may be cranking up the heat. However, there may be a better, cheaper way to make your home more comfortable. You need to get the insulation throughout your home checked. If the insulation in your walls or pipes is inefficient, you could be wasting both energy and money. Simple steps like installing electrical outlet sealers behind all of your outlets and switches can make a big difference. You can also get extra insulation placed around your pipes during the winter.
3. Remember to Replace Your Air Filters
Air filters catch dust, lint, and pollen and help to circulate clean air throughout your HVAC system. This helps to keep the system in good working order and therefore, keeps your energy usage down. It is crucial that you replace these filters when they get dirty, so they don’t make your system run inefficiently. When you reduce the amount of energy you use, you can reduce your electrical bill.
4. Make Sure Your Appliances Work Properly
If your appliances aren’t in top working condition, they are likely draining your energy. Set up a schedule for cleaning your appliances and making sure they’re working properly. An annual check is enough for most large machines. While the inspection will cost you money, it can actually save you some cash in the long term if you catch small problems early. If your appliances are old, replacing them with modern Energy Star equipment is the best option.
5. Get A Professional Electrician to Inspect Your Home
If your house is over 25 years old or you’ve been experiencing electrical problems, don’t delay in calling an electrical contractor. Power outages and tripped circuit breakers are signs of deficiencies in the system. it may be due to overloaded circuits, appliances that are malfunctioning or even defective electrical work. Maybe you tried to do some of the electrical work yourself, but you made an error. When you contact an electrical contractor, they will send a licensed professional to your home to check your fittings, wiring, earthing connections, and appliances.
6. Balance Electricity Use by Using Appliances Strategically
Even if you have modern energy-efficient appliances, it can be helpful to think carefully about how you use them. For example, it is more efficient to dry multiple loads of laundry consecutively instead of waiting between loads. The dryer uses less energy because it stays warmer longer. It is also best to fully load the dishwasher and washing machine instead of doing half-loads. Using these strategies can help you to save some money.
7. Lower the Temperature on the Water Heater
You need your water heater to ensure you get hot water in your sinks, shower, dishwater and washing machine. However, water heater costs are second only to the expense of heating and cooling systems. By lowering the temperature by just a few degrees, you can reduce the amount you spend. Setting your heater at 120 degrees is sufficient. If you’re planning to be away from home for a long time, you should turn off the heater.
8. Reduce Phantom Loads
Phantom loads or standby power refers to the energy used by electronics in your home when they are turned off. Computers, TVs, DVD players, computers, and several kitchen appliances consume power when they are not actively in use. That’s how they continue to display the time or retain settings. Since it would be time-consuming to remember to unplug each piece of equipment, you can plug them into power strips and turn those off when you’re not using the electronics.
You don’t have to live with extremely high electrical bills. Reducing your obvious energy usage is a good place to start but as you can see, a lot more goes into limiting your spending. Be sure to get licensed electricians and HVAC professionals to inspect your home and conduct regular maintenance. Keeping your systems in tip-top shape can help you to save lots of money in the long run.
Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.