Photo by Chelsea O’Brien
With a few simple changes in around your house, you can save money on your utility bills. With some larger adjustments, you can drastically improve the energy efficiency of your home.
As a home owner, landlord, or renter, your utility bill can be one of your highest monthly expenses. For many homeowners, the monthly utility bill is the second-largest expense after the mortgage. Reducing your energy usage isn’t just a good investment for the environment—it’s also a great way to keep your budget in check.
In 2016, the average electric bill in the United States was $119 per month—over $1,400 per year.
Use these tips to reduce your electricity bills:
- Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
- Cleaning or changing your HVAC filter every 30 days can help you cut electricity costs.A few helpful filter-changing tips include:Panel Filters – Replace every 30 days
Pleated Filters – Replace every 3 to 4 months
Media Filter – Replace every 6 months
Permanent Filters – Clean once a month
- Adjust your water heater temperature; can you set it so that it does not get so hot?
- Wash and dry your clothes efficiently; can you do less loads each week?
- Use energy-efficient lighting; try LED bulbs.
- Use power strips.
- Turn off your ceiling fans and lights when not in use.
- Caulk air leaks. Using low-cost caulk to seal cracks and openings in your home keeps warm air inside.
- Adjust your thermostat; turn it back when you’re not at home and keep it comfortable but cool when you are.
- Practice efficiency with your kitchen appliances.
- Seal ducts. Air loss through ducts can lead to high electricity costs, accounting for nearly 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption.
- Did you know that 75 percent of your energy use is caused by electronics that are turned off? For example, your toaster could be sucking up 876 watts while on, but zero when off and unplugged! Your TV, computer, Internet router, and kitchen appliances are making your electric bill higher. Use a power strip and turn them off or unplug them when not in use.
- Keep refrigerator coils clean. Your refrigerator can suck up a lot of energy. A fridge can use anywhere between 201 kWh to 500 kWh per year, depending on the type of fridge you have.
- Use cold water for laundry. Your washer’s energy consumption can be 90 percent less if you use cold water instead of hot.
- Use your microwave more.Microwaves can actually be very useful for cutting your electric bill in half. For one, microwaves use less electricity. For example, a microwave uses around 1,200 watts. An oven uses around 2,400 watts.If you cook something for 30 minutes in a microwave at 10 cents per kWh per day, your monthly cost is $1.83. If you use an oven, you will pay double.
Not all the above tips will significantly reduce your electric bill on their own, but by implementing several or most of these energy saving tips together, you can eliminate a large amount of your electricity costs.
Start with the easy ones and work your way up to the big projects.