Reducing Energy Costs in Your Home

We’ve become very dependent upon electricity and the conveniences it offers. However, sometimes we take advantage of that convenience and the result is higher electric bills. Learn some quick and easy ways to reduce your energy costs and save money.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much effort to reduce your energy costs. Here are some easy ways to cut costs by just creating a few new habits.

Turn Off the Lights

This is one of the most basic ways to reduce energy usage and lower the power bill. When you’re leaving a room, turn off the lights and ceiling fans. Of course, this assumes that you won’t be coming back into the room in the next few minutes.

If you have an outdoor light, consider using a motion detector so the light is only turned on when it needs to be.

Turn Off Unused Appliances

There is no need to have your TV and computer on when they’re not being used. Having a computer running 24/7 can easily add $200 to your power bill every year.

Appliances use electricity even when they’re idle, so unplug them. Even small items like phone chargers, coffee machine, toasters, etc. that are not in use add to your electric bill. You’re wasting energy just by keeping them plugged in.

Maintain Home Appliances

When your home appliances aren’t in top form, they not only waste power but start causing collateral damage as well!

  • A bad refrigerator door gasket won’t seal, making the compressor run more often and making freezerburn collect on your food.
  • Bad gaskets or bearings in your washing machine will get grease on your clothes, making them dirty again.
  • A sticky oven thermostat makes the oven too hot, costing you kilowatts and scorched groceries.

…the list goes on. Look around at what needs some work, and try the hardware store in town for the parts you need for repair. Alternatively, buy at an online hardware store such as PartSelect for just the parts you need and some instructions on how to whip things into shape yourself without paying for labor.

Energy Saving Light Bulbs

If you have not done so already, it is time to replace your conventional light bulbs for the florescent energy saving bulbs. They may cost slightly more, but they last a lot longer and use a lot less energy. Over the course of a year, you should see a reduction on your electrical bill.

Buy Energy Saving Appliances

When buying new appliances, look for the energy star sticker. Energy Star, is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.

There are refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, and even TVs , that all have the energy star seal of approval, which means a lower electric bill.

Wash the Dishes

If you have a dishwasher and are running it every day, you’re adding about $4 a month to your electricity bill. That’s almost $50 a year, and it doesn’t even take into account the water costs.

By manually washing your dishes, you can eliminate this dishwasher costs.

If you’re not ready to take that step, then try reducing the amount of dish washing cycles by only running it when it is full. Some dishwashers allow you to turn off the drying function, meaning you can have the dishes air dry and save some of the energy used.

The Thermostat

  • If you have ceiling fans, use them instead of the AC as they require a lot less energy.
  • Turn down the thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter, and wear a sweater in the house.
  • Use a programmable thermostat so that it doesn’t run as much overnight of if you’re gone during the day.

Natural Heat Control

Cutting electricity costs sometimes involves getting creative. Use heavy, light colored curtains in the doors and windows to block the hot rays of the sun. The room will remain much cooler.

In the winter, make sure you insulate the windows, the attic and the cracks on the doors in order to contain the heat. Again, those heavy curtains will come in use by keeping the heat inside.

Air Dry

When it comes to drying your clothes, save on your electricity bill by hanging them to dry on the patio, or inside on a clothes rack. This will prevent you from having to use the energy-hungry clothes drier.

Solar Panels

Unfortunately, solar panels are still not all that common and can be expensive to install. However, if you own your house and plan to be there for a number of years, solar panels can be seen as an investment. In the long run you will make substantial savings.

Cooking Tips

When you are cooking on the stove, keep the saucepans covered in order to trap the heat.

When using the oven, turn it off a few minutes before the food has finished cooking and use the stored heat in the oven for the remaining time.

The most simple way to reduce your energy costs is to simply not use as much electricity. Not only will you lower your power bill, you may also see an improvement in your lifestyle.

  • Watch less tv and reduce usage of the computer
  • Exercise more, enjoy the outdoors or take up a new hobby
  • If you have kids, encourage them to play board games and be creative

What Do You Think?

Are there other ways to lower your electric bill that might be useful to someone else?

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