Saving money on your energy bill is an often-overlooked way to cut your spending. In fact, reducing just 20% of your monthly energy costs can make a big difference in your budget – especially considering the average monthly electricity bill in the United States is close to $120.
Luckily, there are tons of ways to reduce your energy use. Read on for our top tips and you’re bound to find something that works for you.
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient options.
Incandescent light bulbs waste lots of electricity, and it’s hard to justify keeping them when you can choose from LED, CFL, or Halogen bulbs in a range of colors, temperatures, lumens, and price points to fit your needs. They might be more costly than your standard incandescent bulbs, but they’ll pay for themselves many times over via savings on your electricity bills.
Use surge protectors so you don’t drain energy from your device chargers.
If your phone charger is plugged in, it’s using electricity – even when it’s not charging your phone. To avoid wasting energy, plug your phone, laptop, and other device chargers into a surge protector that can be switched off when not in use. When you’re not charging anymore, unplug all of your devices with the flick of a switch. And, keep this in mind: Those energy-sucking appliances will also drain your bank account!
Fire up the grill.
Would you rather spend your summer evenings grilling outside or sweating over a hot stove? Seems like an easy answer to me. By grilling outdoors, you not only get to enjoy some fresh air, but you’ll also avoid trapping heat indoors. Better yet, you’ll save major bucks on cooling costs.
Make use of your ceiling fan.
A ceiling fan can make a room feel several degrees cooler, especially when used in conjunction with your air conditioner. Just remember Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. For this reason, make sure to turn your fans off when you leave the rooms.
Flip the switch.
As it turns out, many ceiling fans can either send air down (for a cooling effect) or up (for a warming effect). If you want to feel cooler, make sure your ceiling fan blades are turning counterclockwise as this will send cooling air down to you. Once you do this, you can turn down your thermostat, open your windows, and enjoy the fresh air. Of course, you can also enjoy the energy savings!
When we say dust everything, we mean it. This includes air vents, light bulbs, ceiling fan blades, baseboards, electronics, and office equipment. Why? They all use more energy when they’re covered in dust. Pro tip: open your doors and windows while you dust to make sure it’s gone for good (or at least a little while longer).
Vacuum your dryer vents and refrigerator coils.
Much like the rest of your electronics, your dryer and refrigerator run more efficiently when they’re dust-free. To this end, dusting might not be enough to clear your dryer vents and refrigerator coils completely, so make sure to use a vacuum hose attachment to thoroughly clean these appliances. This will help ensure that your refrigerator and dryer operate smoothly.
Reduce the temperature settings on your water heater.
Did you know that you might be wasting energy because the thermostat on your water heater is set too high? That’s right: The higher the temperature setting, the more energy it takes to heat the water. To save energy, adjust the thermostat on your water heater below 140℉ (any higher, and you’ll just be mixing cold water back into it anyway).
Automate your thermostat.
Set the temperature a few degrees lower at night and when nobody is home. While you can do this without a programmable thermostat, let’s face it: it’s hard to remember to do this consistently every day. By switching to a set-it-and-forget-it model, you’ll save on energy costs effortlessly.
Move your lamps, TVs, and other potential heat sources away from your thermostat.
While you’re inevitably rearranging all the living room furniture, consider moving heat sources like lamps and TVs away from your thermostat. Why? If they are too close, this can trick your thermostat into thinking it’s a few degrees warmer than it actually is. And this keeps your air conditioner on longer – wasting both power and money. To this end, when you’re having company over, turn down the thermostat before your guests arrive. Their collective body heat will also increase the room temperature.
If you haven’t already gone solar, you might want to consider it. Switching to solar power can save you anywhere from $7,000 to $30,000 over the course of 20 years depending on where you live. Not only are you locking in low electricity rates for the life of your solar panels, but you’re also supporting a local, sustainable form of clean energy.
Follow These Tips to Save Money and the Environment
As you can see, making your home more energy-efficient can save you a ton of money on your energy bills. The best part? Many of these energy-saving tips won’t cost you a cent. It’s a win-win: you’re saving money while saving the environment at the same time.