Energy costs and utility bills are getting more and more expensive. At the same time, people are developing an increasing awareness of conservation and attempting to live more eco-friendly lifestyles. Unfortunately, it can seem hard to reduce your electricity and fuel bills without spending top dollar on new HVAC systems, pricy appliances, and trendy smart home systems.
These energy-saving devices are great for those that can afford them but are out of reach for many homeowners and renters. Instead, consider trying these easy and cheap ways to lower your electric bill:
Turn off Lights and Electronics
This is one of the simplest ways to save energy and reduce your electric bill. Turning off lights and electronics when you leave the room or when they are not in use can make a big difference in your energy consumption. Train your children to turn the lights off every time they leave the room. Consider investing in motion-sensing lights or switches that automatically shut lights off when no one is in the room.
In some cases, consumers are allowed to choose their electric company. This can create competition between companies, and in some cases, people might be able to get lower rates by switching. The popularity of internet searches like “texas electricity near me” and “how do I change electric companies” show that in these states, people are interested in getting the lowest rates and the best providers.
Consider using technology and gadgets to help your home be more energy efficient. For example, programmable thermostats can be set to adjust the temperature when you aren’t at home or when you are in bed. This can save a lot of money as adjustments of only a few degrees can make a big difference.
You can use plug timers to shut off the power supply to some devices, such as television sets, internet routers, and computers so that they are powered off at night. While these items don’t consume much electricity when they aren’t running, they do consume enough that you may notice a difference in your electric bill.
You can also use plug timers or smart bulbs to automatically shut off lights at certain times. This is a good strategy for outdoor lights that don’t need to be on all night, or in situations where you want to leave a light on when you are away from home after dark.
Use Natural Light
Open your curtains or blinds during the day to let in natural light instead of using artificial lighting. This can also help with the heating bill during the winter. Let the sun help warm your house by opening curtains on south-facing windows. The opposite is true in the summer – you can help lower your cooling bill by keeping the sun from shining directly into your windows.
Adjust Your Thermostat
In the summer, set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, and in the winter, set it to 68 degrees or lower. This will help you save on cooling and heating costs. You can nudge these temperatures even more when you aren’t at home, simply by using a programable thermostat or adjusting the temperature right before you leave.
During the winter, you can also turn your thermostat down even more at night. People often sleep better when it is cool and you can save more on energy costs this way.
Use fans to circulate air and reduce the need for air conditioning. Ceiling fans can be particularly effective in cooling a room, but small room fans can also help make a room feel cooler. In the winter, ceiling fans can help circulate warm air that naturally gathers near the ceiling, helping to bring it down into the room where you can feel it and keeping the temperature more moderate.
Unplug Appliances and Chargers
Many appliances and chargers continue to draw power even when they are not in use. Unplugging them when they are not in use can save you money. Because this can be hard to remember, you can use a timer to unplug these items at night or when you are gone. Smart switches and plugs can even connect to an app and be turned off from your phone.
Air Dry Clothes and Dishes
Dryers and dishwashers use a lot of energy to dry things. Instead of using a dryer, consider hanging your clothes outside or on a drying rack inside to save energy and reduce your electric bill. Even if you cannot always do this but can do it on weekends or a few times a week, you are likely to notice a significant difference.
You can also air-dry your dishes by utilizing the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. This works best if you can open your dishwasher as soon as the cycle ends, while the dishes are still hot, because hot water evaporates faster. This also works well when you run the dishwasher at night- simply open it before you go to bed, and the dishes will be dry by morning.
Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. They use less energy and last longer. These bulbs might be a little more expensive to purchase, but over time they will more than pay for themselves. You can even purchase smart bulbs that can be set to a timer or programmed to turn off at certain times.
These are just a few ways to lower your electric bill without spending any money. Making small changes to your energy usage can add up over time and lead to significant savings. Thankfully, we don’t all have to resort to pricy methods to get some relief in our utility bills.
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