Your energy bills are one of those grin and bear it types of monthly payments. They’re expected, sometimes anticipated and rarely appreciated. Well, rather than suffer in silence, there are real steps you can take to cut back on that energy bill.
And you can do it without living in the dark, wearing a coat at home during the winter or sticking ice cubes down your shirt in summertime. Here’s how:
Turn down the temperature
No, not the temperature in your home, the temperature on your hot water heater. The less your hot water heater must work, the more money and energy you save.
Wash your clothing on cold or warm, use the recycle option on your dishwasher and only run it when it’s full. Take shorter showers and stop leaving the faucet running. The more your water heater must heat the water, the more money you’re spending.
Let the sunshine in
This is of course only a policy in the cooler months. The heat from the sun’s rays can warm your home five, ten, sometimes even fifteen degrees, depending on the time of day. This can save your furnace a lot of extra effort and energy. It’ll also save you good money each month.
During the summertime, keep the sun’s rays out to keep your home cooler.
Give them a tune up
Any appliances that use electricity or gas should be maintained. That includes your refrigerator, hot water heater, furnace, air conditioner, stove and even your grill if it runs from your gas line. Make sure they’re in good operating shape. This means regular cleaning and routine tune ups.
Run your heat generating appliances during the evening
During the warm summer months, try not to run the dishwasher, stove or washing machine during the day. They kick out heat when they’re running and that makes your air conditioner must work extra hard. During the winter months, however, you can capitalize on household chores to help heat the home.
Eliminate phantom load
When your appliances and electronics are turned off, they still use energy. In fact, they use a lot of energy. It’s said that if everyone unplugged their computers and laptops at night they’d save enough energy to power 100,000 homes. Experts say if you eliminate your phantom load, you can cut your energy bill by 10%. These are the top ten “phantom load appliances”:
- Cable box
- Central Heating/Furnace
- Routers and Modem
- Gaming Console
Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
Switching your lightbulbs from an incandescent bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb can also save a ton of money.
They use 75% less energy and last nearly 4 times as long. According to Home Guides, the cost over the lifetime to use an incandescent bulb is $28 vs. $120 for a compact fluorescent bulb.
That’s a pretty significant savings, particularly when you look at the savings over time. Plug electronics into smart strips and turn off the strip at night.
Many of the recommendations for saving energy still hold true. You can save a ton by getting a programmable thermostat, turning off the lights when you leave the room and by adjusting your thermostat to save energy. These additional tips and steps will help you take your money further and lower your utility bills year-round.