Have you been wondering lately where these high costs are coming from when you look at your electric bill? The cost itself has gone up quite a bit, which makes it even more important to be as efficient as possible in your home. Luckily, you can reduce your electric bill and cut usage just by changing up just a few habits!
20 Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill
Wash your Clothes on the COLD Water Setting
You can save money just by using the cold water setting rather then using hot water. When you are using the hot water you are also using the hot water costing more money! You can wash your clothes in cold water whether you have an HE or a Regular Washer and you do not need special laundry detergent either.
Limit your Light Usage
Don’t turn on your lights unless you need them on. Use the outdoor natural lighting as much as possible. Make it a habit to shut the lights off as you walk out of a room.
Run the Dishwasher or do Laundry after 9 PM
The later at night that you do these tasks the more you save because there is such a thing as Peak and Non-Peak Energy usage. Along with this tip is to make sure that you only run one major appliance at a time. Just like supply and demand when the demand is high, price is higher.
Use the Dishwasher
It is cheaper to run the dishwasher then to hand wash dishes. When you hand wash your dishes you use on average 27 gallons but when you use a dishwasher you only use 4 gallons. To save even more money while using your dishwasher be sure to use the time delay (this makes it so it will run the dishwasher later at night) and air dry options!
Shut off and Unplug Small Appliances
When you are done with small appliances shut them off and unplug them (ie. toaster, blender, coffee maker, etc) Especially your computer, gaming devices (Wii, Xbox, etc…) and even your Internet Router! Don’t leave them plugged in because they still draw power when not in use and you are literally wasting electricity on un-used products! Invest in some power strips to make it easy to just flip the switch and turn things off. Did you know they even make power strips with timers?
Don’t Leave your Phone on its Charger
I always charge my phone BEFORE I go to bed. Why have it on the charger 8 hours when it only can charge an hour? Doing it this way I will save 7 hours of electricity (multiply that each day and I will save 56 hours of electricity) On average you will save .0168 kWh per night that might not seem like a lot but after each day add that up.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Here is an easy one, literally switch out those old bulbs to energy efficient bulbs. These light bulbs will save you 50-80% in electricity costs compared to regular light bulbs. These often go on sale at Rite Aid and Target for a pretty good price.
Adjust the Temperature on your Refrigerator and Freezer
Adjust the temperature settings on your refrigerator and freezer. You do not need to have your fridge and freezer on the highest settings in fact in some appliances if you have it too cold it ends up having ice built up from being so cold. Ideal setting is #3 for a refrigerator and 0 to 5 degrees for the freezer.
Keep the Doors Shut to Appliances
Only open refrigerator and freezer doors when you need something. Opening the doors is letting out all the cold air costing you money because the compressor will need to kick back on to re-heat all that warm air you just let inside your refrigerator or freezer.
Keep your Freezer Full
This tip is great for keeping your energy usage low if your freezer is not full use shipping peanuts, newspapers and even milk jugs full of water to fill it up. When your freezer is full that is less space that warm air can take up. I like to use old milk jugs and 2-liter soda bottles filled with water the best because they serve a dual purpose of keeping the food cold during a power outage.
Hang your Clothes to Dry
Not only will you save electricity costs by not using your dryer, but your clothes will last longer! In the summer time I don’t ever use my dryer.
Hot Water Heater
Lower the temperature setting on your hot water heater and have it set it to 120 degrees F anything hotter then that is wasteful. Also wrap your water heater with a hot water blanket. This prevents heat loss to your hot water heater.
Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
You can save on average $150 a year just by replacing old appliances with newer energy efficient appliances. There is often times tax deductions and after time you will recoup your money. Find some of the rebates and tax deductions here.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Replace that old dial thermostat to a programmable thermostat that will, over time, help you to save at least $300-$400 a year! You can program your thermostat to kick on a certain times in the morning, cool down at night and even lower while aren’t home or on vacation. Using a programmable thermostat you will avoid paying for heat when you don’t need need it!
Cook with your Crock-Pot
Instead of firing up the oven use a crock-pot to cook whenever possible. Here are a few Crock-Pot recipes to get you started.
Keep Dryer Vents Clean
Clean out your dryer vent, replace filters to AC and Furnace Units. You can increase your dryer, AC, and furnace units energy efficiency just by completing these simple tasks. Efficiency = less power usage!
Use Fans Instead of Air Conditioning
In the summer time instead of turning on the AC unit use fans. Also, invest in black out curtains these help block out hot sun in the summer time save on cooling costs. Find more Summer Cooling Tips here.
Check the House for Leaks
Check for leaks around the house (seal your air ducts, caulk around windows or door frames, use spray foam around pipes coming in and out of your home.) Getting rid of the leaks prevents hot air from escaping in the winter time and from entering in the summer.
Watch your Bill
Last but NOT least: Compare the reading of your bill to the actual reading of your meter. Everyone makes mistakes, utility workers too.
Want to further your savings?
I would suggest purchasing an Electricity Usage Monitor to see what your electricity stealers are. Check all your appliances to see what is the biggest electricity hog.
Did you know you can calculate your household usage? Use this free energy calculator test.
Check your local area to see if you can get an energy audit of your home to find ways to decrease your energy usage and loss of heat. Check out NYSERDA website for NY residents.
What other tips do you have to cut down electricity usage and reduce your electric bill?