It seems that in recent years, electric bills have continued rising, sometimes exponentially. This has led to a high degree of interest in actually doing something to fight back and lower your electric bill. There is a lot to think about, but this also means that there are things you can do to contribute to your own savings. For example, did you know that even appliances and other items still consume electricity when they are turned ‘off?’ The following tips should help you to fight back and lower your electric bill.
Have Everything Checked:
Many utility companies even offer a free home energy audit and it can be well worth your time to take them up on this. They will actually make some good recommendations on things you can do to lower your energy costs.
You should also have all your major systems checked out. This includes your air conditioner and heating unit(s), which probably accounts for up to half of your electric bill. Get them cleaned and checked by professionals in order to ensure they are running most efficiently. A great way to remember this is to schedule appointments when you change your clock in the spring and the fall.
Pay Attention To Your Windows:
The next tip is to pay attention to your windows since a lot of heat enters and escapes through them. Closing the curtains and lowering the blinds (especially if you have a ‘sunny’ side) will help to keep you cooler on hot days and warmer on cold days, while taking some of the stress off your heating and cooling system. You could even consider using window film on the glass, maintaining your view of the outside.
Unless you have a heat pump, don’t keep your thermostat at a steady temperature. While you are away or asleep, turn the setting up so that your air conditioner does not turn on as often. Another great option here is to consider using a programmable thermostat or timer. This would be especially helpful on your window units. This way, they can turn on at a set time, allowing you to come home to a comfortable house without having the extra expense of running the air or heat all day.
Turn Off The Appliances:
Anything that has a transformer (the small black cube at the end of the cord) will likely still be drawing power as long as it is plugged in, even when turned off. Computers and other electronic devices are big offenders in this area. Sometimes, even setting a computer to ‘sleep’ mode still drains a significant amount of power. You really need to not only turn everything off, but those items which are easily accessible should have their cord unplugged from the outlet, or their power strip disconnected.
Replacing Light Bulbs:
There are so many new options for light bulbs that now is the time to consider replacing old ones with more energy efficient models. There are even fluorescent bulbs that operate at one-sixth the cost of incandescent bulbs. Not to mention that many of these new energy saving light bulbs will last ten times as long. There is also quite a variety of new shapes, sizes, and types including compact units that give off soft illumination just like traditional bulbs. Another excellent option is to consider installing dimmer switches on your bulbs. This way you use only the exact amount of light needed.
Written by Brian Cardinal at LightBulbU.com