Tips for reducing your electric bill
If you are looking for ways of reducing your electric bill, try these tips first.
1. Turning up the thermostat on your air conditioning during the summer months even by a few degrees is a big help. You can save 3 to 5 percent on your air conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat. Turning it off altogether is even better as far as savings go. You can even use ceiling & portable fans to circulate the air in your house.
2. When you’re using the heat, try to keep the thermostat down as much as possible within comfort, try sleeping with an extra warm blanket, or use heaters in the rooms you’re in the most. Look at the chart below to get an idea of potential savings.
Chart is from https://www.mge.com/home/saving/thermostat.htm
3. Close the vents the air conditioner and heating use in the rooms that you don’t frequent, and close the doors! This will cool or heat the rooms you are using more efficiently. (Maybe start with your mother in-laws room 😉 , were just kidding.)
4. Installing a programmable thermostat will allow you to set the temperature for your home when you’re not there, or at night when it cools down. We suggest having the air or heat start when your day begins, and again right before you get home so you’re not uncomfortable.
5. Use cold water instead of hot when washing your clothes, or at least warm water. By avoiding heated water you will use less energy. Look into laundry detergents formulated to get your clothes clean even in cold water.
6. Use a clothes rack, or clothesline instead of the dryer. It does require more time but will drop your bill in the long run. Its well worth it as the average dryer uses $0.35 – $0.45 per hour. It may not seem like too much but it adds up very fast! You can tell your friends you bought the latest thing – a solar clothes dryer! And a great way of reducing your electric bill!
7. By keeping your fridge and freezer stocked with food you can maintain the cold air, but don’t overload it or the cold air won’t have a chance to circulate and the appliance will have to work harder. Also make sure to clean off the air filters on the back or bottom of the appliance regularly, this will increase the efficiency of the unit. Of course older models are less efficient than newer models, but unless your appliance is nearing the end of its life, it’s rather a pricey investment to replace. When it’s time to look for a new refrigerator, make sure that you check the Energy Star™ logo.
8. If you have an extra freezer or refrigerator in your garage consider whether you need it or not. Maybe you kept it when you replaced your old appliance, or just to store extras, but by unplugging it you will save quite a bit of electricity and money.
9. Many dishwasher models have an option to turn off the heated dry cycle, and you will save electricity by doing so. You can also not select the “temp boost” option and select the “energy saver” instead (if your model offers them). Washing only full loads of dishes will also reduce energy consumption.
10. Another saver is replacing your incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR™ -qualified lights bulbs. One of which is the compact fluorescent bulbs. They use less energy and last longer. While the price for these bulbs are higher, you will spend less each year in operating them. For example In order to produce the same amount of illumination as a fluorescent lamp, an incandescent bulb consumes anywhere from 4 to 8 times as much power. Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light. 90% of the energy is wasted as heat. That lost energy is money we are throwing away. Simply upgrading 15 inefficient incandescent bulbs in your home with energy-saving bulbs could save you about $50 per year.* Of course, using LED bulbs will save you even more. And they last longer too! It’s a great way of reducing your electric bill!
11. Appliances and electronics still draw electricity when not in use, especially if they have clocks. Unplugging or turning off those power strips will save energy.
12. Similar to the above statement, remember to turn off televisions or any other electronic appliance when you leave the room. This may sound silly to mention, but you would be surprised how easy it is to forget.
13. Set your computer to sleep or hibernate. This allows your computer to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu.
Configure your computer to “hibernate” automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The “hibernate mode” turns the computer off in a way that doesn’t require you to reload everything when you switch it back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch. When you’re done for the day, shut down.
14. Use sunlight wisely. During the winter season, leave shades and blinds open on sunny days. But close them at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. Do the reverse for the summer months, close the shades and blinds during the day, or when the air conditioner is in use.
15. Check your refrigerator seals on the door, make sure they are airtight. Test this by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can easily pull the paper or dollar bill out, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might want to consider buying a new unit.
16. Smart Meter Texas is a big help for those of you who have a smart meter. The perks are:
- Monitor your usage
- Manage your costs
- Raise awareness of waste and your carbon footprint
Knowing when you are using electricity by monitoring your meter using Smart Meter Texas is another great way of reducing your electric bill.
If you would like to register your Smart meter please visit Smart Meter Texas.
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