Many energy customers wonder why their utility bills are always higher than they feel they should be. The fact of the matter is there are a lot of little habits that drain energy in your home. Many are subtle and some almost unnoticeable.
What homeowners need is a handy list of energy savings tips that explains in detail about some of the best ways to save energy from day to day. There’s no reason to overpay the electric company every month, especially when there are so many easy ways to cut costs around the house.
Below are ten of the most common ways homeowners inadvertently waste money and end up paying too much to the electric company when the bill arrives. These energy-savings tips even work for people who are on prepaid electricity plans.
Things like phone chargers, blenders, toasters, lamps, stereos, and other devices can gobble energy and lead to a high power bill even when they are not in use. Remember to unplug devices that you only use now and then. Most modern household appliances use some electricity just by being plugged into the wall. It’s best to keep everything unplugged when not in use, and especially when you’re on vacation.
Many homeowners don’t realize that ceiling lights are very inefficient. Lamps offer more direct lighting and can operate on much less electricity. Lamps that are strategically placed around the house can cut energy usage by a significant amount.
Consider replacing all the old-fashioned bulbs in your home with LED lights. The LEDs burn about 90 percent less electricity and usually outlive their owners! People who are interested in saving money on electricity, and using less energy in general, make the switch to LED lighting and notice lower utility bills almost immediately.
Check your home’s attic and basement to make sure that insulation is in place and doing its job. One of the biggest energy “robbers” of the modern home is poor insulation. Those drafts in the attic, cool breezes in the basement, and other poorly insulated parts of your home are eating away your power source and boosting your monthly power bills.
All those old TVs, prehistoric blenders, outdated toasters, nostalgic stereos, and other ancient appliances in your home can really pump up the monthly energy costs. When you do use them, they eat up a lot more power than more efficient, modern appliances. Consider selling, giving away, or recycling appliances that are outdated.
One way to quickly cut energy costs is to act responsibly. What does that mean? Simply put, try to wash only when you have a full load to do. Run the dishwasher when it’s full, and don’t leave lamps, fans, or radios on in unoccupied rooms. It’s really a matter of common sense. Those large appliances use a lot of electricity, so be mindful when you operate them by making certain that you really need to use them.
A home’s air conditioning and heating system is one of its biggest users of electricity. When weather extremes hit, try to keep the indoor temperature of the house comfortable. You can do this by setting the thermostat and leaving it in one place, even if the outdoor temps rise or drop significantly. Reacting to sudden rises and drops in temperature by adjusting the thermostat can mean higher energy bills.
Those tablets, phones, and other items that need to be charged can bump up your electric bill. Remember that most phones only need to be charged for a few hours. It’s the same for tablets and a bit longer for laptops in most cases. Check manufacturers’ directions about proper charging times and don’t exceed them. Leaving devices plugged in longer than necessary is a common form of energy waste.
Almost every homeowner has committed the following error at least once: leaving windows open while running the air conditioner (AC). It’s a classic case of waste because the AC, one of the home’s most expensive appliances, is being nullified by warm air that flows in through the windows. Either close the windows or turn off the AC. It’s that simple. Too many homeowners forget windows are open, especially in upstairs bedrooms. The sad result is a utility bill that reflects the wasted AC usage. Always keep tabs on which windows are open and whether the AC is on or off.
Off buttons can be tricky because they don’t always mean what they say. Just because an electrical device is turned to the “off” position, it can still be using electricity. As noted in tip number one, it’s smartest to unplug any device you are not actively using.
Remember, there’s no reason to pay the electric company more than you have to. Whether you’re on a standard billing system or prepaid electricity program, try out as many of the above tips for the best ways to save energy and decrease your bill.
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