Do you get nervous and start shaking before you open your electric bill? We know it can be a frightening experience to open your bill and see scary number right next to the words “Amount Due”. But to most people, their electric bill is an absolute mystery. They really don’t know what factors go into determining the high total each and every month.
But the good news is, it doesn’t have to remain this way. Your consumption and usage is totally within your control. We know some of the reasons your electric bill is high and have some tips on what you can do lower it. It’s time to stop being frightened to open an envelope every month.
Truth be told, the most energy we consume each and every month revolve around the major appliances in our home. If you can get those under control, that will lower your bill significantly.
The Common Culprits
It doesn’t take a genius to realize where the majority of your electricity is being consumed. There is your air conditioning/heating system. There is your hot water heater. There is your washing machine and dryer. There is your refrigerator. And there is your stove and oven.
Here are some tips for dealing with each of these major appliances:
Air conditioning/heating system
Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat which can switch on and off at certain parts of the day. For most people, the main issue with a/c units is running it all day and keeping it at a lower temperature. Installing and configuring a programmable thermostat will force you to think about when to run the a/c, when to turn it off and when to raise/lower the temperature.
Hot water heater
The first thing you can do is switch to cold water when ding your laundry. Studies have proven that cold water can clean as well as, if not better than hot water. Translating that to dollar figures, a typical household can save over $130 a year just by switching to cold water laundry cycles. Other things you can do is lower the temperature on your hot water heater and shorten those long hot showers.
We’ve mentioned that you should start doing loads of laundry in cold water instead of hot. You should also wait until you have full loads before running a cycle. Make sure you keep the lint filter clean on the dryer and consider taking your clothes out of dryer 10 minutes before the cycle has finished and let them air dry. Or, just consider eliminating the use of your dryer altogether.
Keep both your refrigerator and freezer as full as possible. When empty or half full, a refrigerator is forced to work harder to stay cold. Don’t put hot food inside your fridge. Let it cool first (but not to the point of developing bacteria). Check the seals to make sure cold air is not escaping. Don’t allow too much cold air to escape by holding the door open for long periods of time.
And you should get into the habit of pulling your fridge away from the wall and dusting the coils in the back. Too much dust can make your fridge work harder than it needs to.
The key here is to only use the oven when necessary. Depending on the size of what you’re cooking, never use the oven if a toaster oven will get the job done. And if the directions give you a choice of using your oven or the microwave, always opt to use the latter.
For all above
If economically feasible, consider replacing all your older appliances with Energy Star rated versions.
What we’ve detailed above is a short list of what you can do right away to start lowering your power bill. What we’ve given you is a bird’s eye view of what needs to be done. Put these steps into action while performing your own research on each appliance. And as time goes on, you will no longer be scared to open your monthly electric bill.