Let’s face it, bills stink. There’s no way around it, especially when it comes to your electric bill. You probably just pay whatever your power company charges you and don’t give it much more thought. Well, if you’re reading this article, you probably care about your bill, which is a good start.
There are many small steps you can incorporate into your daily routine that will help you lower your electricity bill. In order to understand the value of taking these steps, you first need to know how your electricity bill is calculated.
Your appliances are measured by how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity they use per hour. There are three major appliances that usually consume a large amount of energy in a home:
- AC Unit
The success of your efforts in reducing your electric bill will come down to how often and how efficiently you apply the following tips for each appliance.
Monitoring your thermostat is step one to lowering your electricity bill.
During the summertime we’re often tempted to lower our thermostat to a nice, cool 68˚F. To lower your electricity bill, you must fight this temptation.
Rather than lowering your thermostat to such a low temperature that will continue to drive up the kilowatt-hour usage of your HVAC system – invest in fans, drapes, and make a daily routine of raising the temperature anytime you leave your home. According to Energy.gov, you can save nearly 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by turning your thermostat back 7˚ to 10˚F for eight hours a day.
Earning these savings is not a strenuous task. It simply requires you to move the dial on your thermostat before you leave your home. If you have a smart thermostat, you can program it to change to a specific cost saving temperature, so that you don’t even have to think about it.
Don’t neglect your heater, especially with winter right around the corner.
Winter is coming, not only for those in Westeros, but for us in the U.S. too. Luckily for us we have heaters to keep us warm. With that said, limiting your heater’s usage can go a long way in helping you lower your energy bill.
During the cold periods of the year, utility companies tend to hike up prices of electricity consumption. This means that staying warm can become even more pricey. However, that doesn’t have to be the case for you.
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One way to offset the extra costs is to maximize any sunlight exposure when possible. Rather than using drapes to cover up sunlight, leave your shades open so that sunlight can enter your home. This natural way of introducing heat into your home can help keep you warm and less dependent on your heater.
If your home happens to have multiple rooms, seal off the vents and close the doors to the rooms that you never use. This will help direct the airflow to the rooms you use most.
With regards to maintenance, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you need to keep your furnace clean. This means changing your filter monthly. Second, if the air in your home is very dry and cold, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat very well.
Why upgrading your fridge isn’t such a bad idea.
If you’ve read any of our blogs, then you’ll know just how much we stress Energy Star appliances. We understand that the premise of this article revolves around small steps to lower your electric bill, but if you have the ability to buy an Energy Star refrigerator, do it.
In addition, there are some other steps you can take to lower your energy bill without dishing out cash for a new fridge. The first involves replacing the rubber gaskets of your fridge. The inner rubber lining that serves as a cushion to the door of your refrigerator, needs to be properly maintained and replaced if worn out.
Over time, that seal breaks down, which means your fridge becomes less efficient at keeping your food cold. When this happens, your fridge will consume even more energy as it attempts to keep your food at the temperature you set, while the cool air leaks out.
The same type of maintenance needs to be applied to the condenser coils. Condenser coils remove any warmth from your refrigerator. However, overtime, they can get very dusty, making them inefficient.
With regards to the inside of your fridge, make sure you don’t overflow your space. Overfilling your refrigerator can hamper air circulation. Any food or liquid needs to be sealed. Uncovered foods release a moisture that causes the refrigerator’s compressor to work harder, which means higher energy consumption.
Your last step is to control your temperature settings. Keeping your refrigerator at a temperature of 37˚ to 40˚F will keep it running at an efficient level, while minimizing your energy costs.
Lowering your energy bill ultimately comes down to the effort you put forth. The small steps we’ve provided today will only go as far as the measures you take to implement them.