Being a homeowner comes with plenty of expenses along the way. If you’re looking to cut costs, exploring some techniques to reduce your electricity bill is a great place to start.
Plus, saving money isn’t the only benefit of taking measures like these. Many will also help reduce your carbon footprint, making them better choices for the environment.
Let’s examine some common, easy ways to save on your electric bill.
Your home consumes a lot of power. Fortunately, making slight changes to your fixtures and habits can make a big difference in how much electricity you use for lighting. Here are a few to consider:
Turn off the lights
It’s an energy-saving tip you’ve likely heard before, but it’s worth repeating. If you can significantly scale your lighting use back by not turning on more lights than you need and turning them off when you’re not in the room, you can make an impact on your electric bill.
Consider how many lightbulbs are in your home, and how many hours per day they’re turned on. Even though having one lightbulb off for an hour saves only a cent or two, consistently being mindful of excessive lighting use can add up over time.
Put your lights on a timer
If you or your family members are prone to forgetting to turn lights off, you might consider putting some of them on timers or motion sensors. That way, technology can help you stick to your intention of switching off lights when no one’s in the room.
Retrofit your lighting fixtures for LEDs
According to the US Department of Energy, highly efficient LED lights (especially ENERGY STAR products) use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.
In other words, making this swap can save you money both on your electric bill and on the cost of frequent bulb replacements. Some lighting systems and fixtures can accept LED light bulbs without any issue. Others require retrofitting to make them LED-compatible.
To learn more about retrofitting your home’s lighting system for LEDs, contact us today!
Choosing the most energy-efficient laundry machines you can find and afford is an obvious step toward reducing your energy bills when it comes to washing clothes. Fortunately, there are also plenty of other quick and inexpensive techniques to help you cut electricity costs in this area:
Wash with cold water
Did you know that the average washing machine uses 60% of its power to heat the water to wash the clothes? Unless you’re doing a load of items that are seriously stained, washing in hot water isn’t typically necessary to get clothes clean.
Try using the cold water setting for most of your laundry loads to scale back your energy usage a bit.
Use the right detergent
This tip is one of the simplest on the list! Do a bit of research to make sure you’re using the right type of laundry detergent for your particular washing machine.
The wrong laundry soap can produce more suds and bubbles than your machine can rinse in a single cycle, causing it to have to work harder. This process, of course, uses more energy.
Only wash full loads
Using your washer to clean just a few items is inefficient. Instead, it’s best to wash full loads so you can use your washer less often overall. Since it uses about the same amount of energy no matter how small or large the load, you should try to make the most of each cycle.
Use your dryer sparingly
On sunny days during the warmer months, hanging your clothes out to air dry on a clothesline can help you save money. Dryers use a lot of electricity, so it’s best to avoid using yours whenever you can.
When you do use your dryer, make sure to clean out the lint tray each time. It’ll allow for better airflow and maximum energy efficiency as your clothes are dried.
Heating and cooling
It takes a lot of energy to heat and cool an entire home! If you only make adjustments to your routine in one of the categories we’ve listed here, this one is likely to have the largest impact. Here’s how to cut back on your cooling and heating bill:
In the hot summer months, it’s wise to use fans instead of air conditioning to cool your home as often as possible. Fans use about 1% of the electricity that air conditioners do, which makes them the obvious choice for energy-efficient cooling.
Whether you have ceiling fans in your home already or you invest in some oscillating fans, you should turn to them instead of the AC come July to save on energy costs.
Keep unoccupied rooms closed off
If you have a guest bedroom that’s not currently in use, for example, close it off to avoid heating or cooling unoccupied space. Close the heat and air conditioning vents, first of all.
You should also keep the door closed to maximize heating and cooling efficiency in the rest of your home.
Readjust your thermostat settings
According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your energy bills every year by setting your thermostat back about 8 degrees during the day.
While this isn’t always feasible because of the weather, even making the adjustment now and again can have an impact.
Looking for a few extra ways to save energy at home? Take a look at our final two tips, both of which are quick and easy to implement:
Many common household appliances continuously use a small amount of energy, even when they’re not turned on or being actively used. Appliances like blenders, toasters, coffee pots, and air fryers can all be unplugged when you’re not using them.
Another option is to invest in smart power strips. They can help ensure devices like these aren’t sucking power when they’re turned off, so you don’t have to worry about plugging in and unplugging devices regularly.
Take note of off-peak hours
Unsurprisingly, utility companies tend to charge more for electricity when the largest number of people are using it. So if you can postpone the tasks that consume the most energy (doing laundry, for example) until off-peak hours, it can be a great way to save money on your utility bill. For reference, off-peak hours are usually early morning or later evening.
If you can start planning your regular chores around this schedule most of the time, you’ll end up with significant savings over the long term.
Take action to lower your electric bill today
The ideas on this list are all relatively simple ways to lower your monthly energy bill.
If you’re looking for help completing the more technical ones—such as upgrading your lighting to LED retrofits—call Burnett Electric today at (775) 857-5229
We’d be happy to help you make this change so you can save energy and money each month.