It’s 2020 and everyone has “budget” on their list of new year’s resolutions. While standing costs like rent, insurance, and car payments feel immovable, you’ve got considerable control over that sky-high utility bill sitting on your kitchen counter. Given that almost a third of U.S. households struggle to pay their energy bills, learning to control this cost is essential for financial stability.
So how can you lower your electric bill in safe and effective ways?
Start by investing in new products, changing habits that silently suck the change from your back pocket and seeking advice from a professional electrician.
If you’re looking to keep your 2020 financial goals on track, slice your electric bill (and carbon footprint) in half by following a few simple rules.
Energy-saving products like LED bulbs, insulated blinds, and front-loading washing machines may be pricier upfront, but your wallet will thank you in the long run. How? Items like LED bulbs use up to six times less energy than standard 60-watt bulbs meaning your bulbs last longer and lighting up your living room costs less.
Investing in weather stripping and caulking also helps maintain your home’s temperature without breaking the bank. Sealing windows and doors to prevent draft is especially important in older homes that are less insulated and most likely built without double pane windows.
Focus on Fans
While fans are obviously an energy-efficient alternative to air conditioning in the summertime, fans are a fantastic but widely underutilized source of heat when the snow starts to fall. If you switch your fan settings so the blades move clockwise, the fan pushes hot air down from the ceiling, heating the room without artificial and energy-sucking heat from a thermostat or space heater. Once you know how to use them, fans can help you save in the summer and wintertime. Just remember to turn your fans off when you leave a room.
Thermostat: Friend or Foe?
You may think upping your temperature by one or two degrees has little effect on your monthly bill. Think again. Most homes sit comfortably at 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing the temperature by one degree within this range can create a $10 increase per degree. If your home is set to 72 degrees, try shifting to 68 degrees for an instant $40 in savings. It’s unlikely you’ll even notice the difference.
Also make sure your thermostat is accurate. Newer models tend to have better readings and it’s important that your home is matching the temperature you think you’re setting it to. Don’t let savings go to waste with a faulty meter.
Keep It Cool
A rule of thumb when it comes to staying energy-efficient. In the wintertime, lower your home’s temperature for a lower energy bill and, according to scientists, a better night’s sleep. Do laundry using cold water and avoid blasting your shower to boiling.
Soak Up the Sun
If you’re blessed with windows use natural light to your advantage. This may sound obvious but keeping your lights off during the day in lieu of sunlight means significant savings. Roll up the shades and enjoy nature’s lamp.
Forget Phantom Power
Phantom power, or standby electricity loss, refers to the power electronics use even when they’re not in use. Anything plugged-in will bleed some electricity. Power cords don’t just transfer electricity, they consume it, and because of the poor design of most boxes on power cords, they rarely consume energy efficiently. Solution? Unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Better yet, plug several electronics into one power strip and turn the power strip off when nothing’s in use.
How do I know if a product is energy efficient?
Check for an ENERGY STAR® logo that specifically denotes energy-efficient products as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency. You can also utilize online tools that compare different products and help you browse retailers’ most efficient models.
Saving on electricity doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort and convenience. Investing in different products and making minimal temperature changes are one-time experiences that reap a lifetime of financial rewards.
Make sure your home is up to date and safely operating by contacting an electrical contractor. Bratcher Electric Wayne MI has been servicing homes and businesses for over 60 years. Our goal is to provide complete satisfaction for every job we perform. Our services include new home wiring, surge protection, code upgrades, standby generators and much more! Call today for a Free Consultation.