As the weather gets warmer, are you dreaming of a lower electric bill instead of the big charges that you’re faced with from cranking up the air conditioner? The good news is, there are plenty of ways to save money on electricity and there are even ways to lower your electric bill without making your house uncomfortable. Making just a few quick and simple changes can allow you to save money on electric bill costs not just during the summer, but throughout the entire year. Here are 10 tricks to try.
1. Unplug Phantom Power Users
Many of the things that you own will keep on using power even when you’re not interacting with them. It’s really simple to get a power strip and turn off these electricity-sucking vampires and you could save as much as $100 a year by purchasing one and plugging electronics like coffee makers and computers and TVs. Don’t worry about unplugging these devices either, as new models will keep their settings even when the power is cut off.
2. Turn off heated dry on your dishwasher
Your dishes don’t really need to be dried with super hot air that you pay for on your electric bill- they can air dry. If you turn off the heated dry feature on your dishwasher, you can save money on electricity without compromising the effectiveness of the dish washer at all. This allows your dish washer to use around 15% less electricity.
3. Turn down your hot water heater
Most water heaters come set at a default 140 degrees, which is way too hot to be comfortable and which can lead to scalding injuries. Save around three to five percent of the costs of heating your water by simply turning the temperature down to 120 degrees. There should be a thermostat on your water heater that you can adjust easily.
4. Use your programmable thermostat (or get one if you don’t already have one)
If you set your thermostat to turn up a few degrees during the summer while you’re sleeping or at work, or to turn down a few degrees in winter, you can save a lot on heating and cooling costs. You’ll save around one to three percent for each degree that you adjust the temp.
5. Caulk your windows and seal the cracks
If you have leaks, you should seal them because your conditioned air is getting out of your home. A simple tube of caulk can be used to seal cracks with no handyman experience and you could save around 20 percent on energy costs if you have a leaky house and you plug up the gaps where heated or cooled air is escaping from.
6. Change your light bulbs to CFLs
You can use around 75 percent less energy with a CFL and save as much as $35 in electrical costs over the bulb’s lifetime. If you multiply this savings by all of the bulbs in your house, it’s really easy to see how you could save a fortune. CFLs have come down in price so they are cheaper to buy up front now than in the past and they come in a variety of different color outputs so you should be able to find a light that you like the looks of.
7. Install motion sensors
If you invest in a motion sensor that turns lights off and on when you (or your kids) leave a room, you’ll never again have to worry about a light being left on all day. You could save up to $100 a year using a motion sensor by ensuring that you only use the light that you actually pay for. Sensors can be especially helpful in rooms like pantries, closets and bathrooms that people tend to be in only for a very brief period of time but where lights can be left on.
8. Look for Energy Star products
When you upgrade or buy new electronic items for your home, like washers and televisions and refrigerators, make sure that you find a product which has the Energy Star label. This indicates the electronic item has passed tests for efficiency and will operate without costing you more than necessary. You could save between $35 and $600 per year compared with items that aren’t Energy Star certified, depending upon the specific item.
9. Clean the lint out of your dryer
Not only is dryer lint a fire hazard, but it also forces your dryer to work harder, run longer, and cost you more cash. By keeping the lint trap clean, you could save around $25 a year on the cost of drying your clothing and could prolong the life of your dryer. Of course, if you really want to save money on electricity, you could opt to dry some of your clothing outside instead of in the dryer.
10. Change your furnace filters
If your furnace has to push conditioned air though dirty filters, it is going to be much less efficient. You could save around $60 annually by cleaning out your filters- and this is a DIY project that anyone can do even if they do not have any special handyman skills. It will take you only a few minutes to both save money on electricity and enhance the quality of the air that your family breathes, so take the time to get rid of those old filters ASAP.