We looked at how to prevent electrical accidents and now we’ll look at preventing high electrical bills. Power usage has a cost to our environment and our wallets, and with these next set of simple rules we can reduce both. Regardless of if you care about only one or both, these can really make an impact. You might not think that any of these will make a big difference, but they do add-up. At the end of the day, you will efficiently be cutting down on expenses and doing your part in lowering the power demand currently burdening the environment. The more people lower their power usage, the better it is for our one and only world.
Twenty Tips to Lower Your Electric Bill
- Improve the insulation of your home to decrease the need for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. This includes making sure that all windows and doors fit their frames properly to prevent drafts from coming in.
- Always make sure your A/C vents are open so it has to struggle less to cool/heat your home. Also cleaning out the filters regularly will ensure efficient operation.
- Keep the doors or windows to the outside open as little as possible when you are trying to maintain a certain temperature inside with the A/C. Keeping them open, or doing so frequently, fluctuates your A/C’s heating or cooling capability and will force it work harder to maintain the temperature you set it at.
- Keep the A/C at a comfortable temperature that does not overtax it. The cooler you make it in the summer or the hotter you make it in the winter, the harder it will work and the more power it will need to use.
- Use laundry lines in the summer if possible, and like the A/C, always make sure that dryer filters and tubes are cleaned regularly. Dryers use up a lot of power, and laundry lines or a laundry dryer stand can just as easily air dry your clothing throughout the warm months.
- Washing your clothes in the laundry on cold settings will drastically reduce its power usage, since the water heater inside is what uses the most power. The hot setting is not needed to clean your clothing, and will just increase the power required to essentially do the same job as the cold setting.
- Do not over-load the dryer, because the hot air will not be able to properly circulate and dry the load. Leave about 25% empty for best results, and you will not have to run the dryer longer.
- Keep the fridge at least 15 centimeters away from the wall around it. The fridge’s components can heat up and need that space to vent, otherwise they will heat the wall up, which in turn will keep the fridge hotter and force it to use more energy to lower its own temperature.
- Frequently clean scale build up (avnit) from your electric urn and boil up only the amount of water you need.
- Ceiling fans utilize much less power and can be very effective in cooling your home in the summer. They are also healthier for you as they do not bring in dust from the outside and they are useful in blowing small bugs away.
- Try air-drying dishes as much as possible rather than relying on your dishwasher. If you normally use the dishwasher frequently, this can really be an easy way to save on energy costs. If you are still going to use the dishwasher, at least wait until it is full, rather than run more frequent, smaller loads.
- When you are not in a room, there is no need to have the lights on, even if you think you will be returning in a few moments. People often forget lights on and keep them on much longer than they intend to. Even if you do return just a few minutes later, all those “few minutes” add-up.
- Switching to energy efficient light bulbs will not only reduce the amount of watts used, but they last a lot longer too, so you will be saving replacement costs as well. Fluorescent bulbs may be more expensive initially, but they are definitely worth the price. A single standard incandescent lightbulb can cost the same to operate as six to 10 fluorescent bulbs, and the fluorescent bulbs last about 10 times longer. Today fluorescent bulbs are available in many shapes and types, including compact units that give off a pleasing, soft illumination like traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Have a professional install a solar water heater, or even a gas heater, rather than relying solely on an electric water heater. You can generally cover the costs of such an instillation within one to three years and then you will start saving a significant amount.
- Unplug appliances when not in use. Most of us leave them plugged in until we need them again, wasting energy. Whatever doesn’t require steady power to function (such as a fridge), unplug it. We tend to keep things plugged in for hours or even days between uses. This includes TVs, toasters, computers, game consoles, our air conditioning or heating (when we are out), and much more. These things are use small amounts of electricity even when they are not powered on, and with so many things plugged in, the power usage certainly adds-up.
- Any appliances that have stand-by modes are better off completely shut down (or better yet unplugged as mentioned above).
- Clean windows can better heat up your home in the winter by allowing in more sunshine, while curtains can help keep your home cool in the summer.
- If you have an electric burner, cook with the lid on and opened as few times as possible. This will enable your food to properly cook in its required time, and not waste more energy with unnecessary heat escaping.
- Try not to open the oven door while cooking unless you really need to check the food and can’t do so properly by looking through the glass. Heat lost by opening the door will cause the oven to use more energy, and you will need to keep the food in longer.
- If possible, upgrade to newer appliances, as they are more energy efficient. It is a short- term investment into a long-term return.
If you utilize these tips, you will begin to notice a difference already in your next electric bill. I hope the savings and the knowledge that you are lessening your impact on the environment leaves a smile on your face. Have a great day!