Year over year, the price of electricity continues to increase, and it becomes more important than ever to attempt to keep the cost down and put a few bucks back in your pocket.For many, self-isolation has revealed how much of their monthly budget goes toward utilities, but by following a few energy-saving hacks, you’ll be well on your way to a lower monthly bill.
Insulation is Important
The proper insulation will ensure that the cold or hot air stays right where it belongs. Ensure your home’s windows and doors remain appropriately insulated to keep the cold air out during winter and the hot air out during the summer. With less air escaping from your home or seeping into it, your air conditioner or furnace does not have to work overtime to maintain the most comfortable temperature.
The same idea goes for the refrigerator and the freezer. With the doors maintaining a tight seal, they will keep the cold air in which will work two-fold by not allowing the cold air into your home but also store your food for more extended periods.
Thermostat That Works for You
Technology has allowed us to develop different emergency savings hacks, with one of them being a programmable thermostat. Such thermostats can be programmed to change the temperature based on several factors: when you are in and out of the home, your personal temperature preference, and the temperature outside. These smart thermostats use the data that it learns to ensure that your furnace or air conditioner is not working for too long and end up using more energy than they should.
It may seem obvious, but you can adjust your clothing to the time of the year and your comfort level so that you do not have to rely on your furnace or air conditioner to work too often throughout the day. Wear more short sleeves and shorts during the summer, while the winter may see you in a sweatshirt and pants.
Strategic Appliance Use
Many of us rely on various appliances throughout the day for daily tasks such as laundry or washing dishes, even heating or cooking our food. Even the biggest of appliances can be used in a way that allows you to save on your monthly bill. For example, start by drying your clothes more often instead of placing them all into the dryer. When it comes to your dishwasher, make sure it is as full as possible before running, while at the same time, you can stop it at the dry cycle and allow you dishes to air dry by leaving it open.
Lighting your home is one of the most common uses of electricity, but it also allows for different hacks. Switch to more energy-efficient lightbulbs such as LED as they last a lot longer and use less energy. Install dimmers wherever possible as they end up using less wattage and can even be controlled by apps for further potential savings.
Turn It Off
When not using something, turn it off or place it on standby. It’s not possible to turn something completely off in some instances, but even standby dramatically reduces the amount of energy that the appliance uses. To make such a process more straightforward, you can plug them into a strip or smart outlet, and with one flip of a switch, turn them all off.
Check Your Appliances
Old or malfunctioning appliances are known to be an energy suck; therefore, they should be checked often and replaced when appropriate. If you determine that it is time for an upgrade, watch for energy-efficient appliances as it could end up in more considerable savings over time.
Make the switch to cold, or colder, water whenever it is possible. When appropriate, wash your laundry in cold water as the most energy a washer uses is during the heating of the water. The same can go for the shower; by shortening the shower’s length, you lower the amount of hot water your boiler has to heat and deliver.
Use Your Fan
If you have fans strategically placed throughout your home, start by using them to cool and circulate the air before turning on the air conditioner. Fans can make the air feel up to ten degrees cooler, but use much less energy than your central air conditioner.
Ducts and Filter
Conduct routine maintenance on your air ducts, furnace, air conditioner, and don’t forget to replace the filters. Your ducts are among the most critical systems in your home as they deliver your hot or cool air throughout your house’s rooms. It’s vital to ensure that they are not leaking air along the way and have a clean filter to go through.
Though it is not commonly heard of, you could consider a prepaid electricity plan. There are different companies out there that work on a prepaid plan instead of a long-term contract, which allows you to stay within a specific budget. As the name suggests, you would prepay for the amount you use and can manage better where the energy is being used and watch for different spikes.