Looking to cut the cost of your electric bill? You’re not alone. Electricity costs are soaring, and it’s time to reduce expenses. Let’s take a look at which items use the most electricity, and what changes can be made.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Do you have electric heat?
- Do you have a room or two that you just don’t use? Then lower the thermostat in those rooms and close the door.
- At night, turn the thermostat down in rooms not in use. This can be especially helpful if there is an entire floor that isn’t being used.
- Make sure you have enough insulation installed so that you’re not losing heat.
Do you have central air conditioning?
- Try turning up the thermostat. If you normally have it set for 65 degrees, then try 68 or 70 degrees. The less the unit runs, the less it will cost you.
Consider updating your heating or cooling system if it is an older unit. The newer units are much more efficient.
Refrigerators and Freezers
- Check the setting on your refrigerator. The dial usually has a range from 1-9. If you normally run on 9, try cutting back to 6 or 7.
- Is your refrigerator new? If not, consider buying a more efficient one.
- Do you have an extra refrigerator in your house? How about an extra freezer? If you use it, that’s great. If not, consider shutting it down and donating it.
Personally, I have a love – hate relationship with our dehumidifier. I love it because it takes all of the moisture of our finished basement. However, I have sticker shock when I open our electric bill. Suggestions:
- Buy a newer, more efficient model.
- Run your dehumidifier on the energy saving mode. So instead of running non-stop, it will run for 3 hours, then shut off for three hours. This will give your wallet a break, too.
- Install a timer so that your pool filter runs for the required 8 hours per day, and no more. Otherwise, you’ll have days where you turn on the filter on at 7 a.m. and forget to turn it off until 11 p.m. That’s like running the filter for an extra day.
- Water heaters have settings, so consider turn down the temperature to save some money.
- If you need a new tank, consider a tankless water heater. They produce hot water on demand, instead of storing hot water all day and night.
Washing Machine and Dryer
- Newer washing machines use less water to clean your clothes. By using less hot water, you’re saving money.
- Consider washing clothes in warm water instead of hot water. Or better yet, cold water instead of warm water. Sometimes this just isn’t appropriate, but when you can, use a cooler setting
- Install a clothes line outside, so clothes can air dry.
- Unplug items when not in use. (Toasters, coffee makers, radios, etc.)
- Turn off the TV when you leave the room.
- Consider turning off power strips when items are not in use.
- Put your computer into hibernate mode when not in use. Or better yet, turn it off completely for the night.
Drapes and Curtains
- Thermal-backed drapes can keep the cold air out in the winter and the hot sun in the summer. Try these drapes on windows facing south and east in the summer, and you’ll be sure to see a difference.
- Install energy efficient lights. There are pros and cons here. On the bright side, they definitely use less electricity. Cons: They cost more upfront, need to be disposed of properly, and can be dangerous if they break. Look for newer bulbs that aren’t quite as hazardous as the original ones.
- Get in the habit of turning the lights off when you leave the room.
- Install timers on lamps and outdoor lights. This will ensure lights do not remain on when it is light outside.
- If your house gets enough sun exposure, you may be able to have solar panels installed.
- There are a lot of options for outdoor solar lights. Outdoor lighting no longer requires hard-wiring into your electrical system.
Need some help? Check with your local electric or gas company for an energy audit. A representative will come out to your home and check it for efficiency. They look at insulation, windows, light bulbs and more. Sometimes they will even offer a discount to make any recommended changes. We had one done a few years ago. They changed most of our light bulbs for free. We also paid 75% less to have insulation blown into our attic.
Hopefully you can use some of these ideas to save money on your electric bill. Let us know if any of these methods worked for you.