The next time you open your electric bill and almost pass out once you see the amount due, remind yourself of the following: you won’t save money on your bill unless you take steps to help lower it. Many of the ways to save simply involve changing your habits.
Here are 10 simple tips that will help you save up to $700 a year in electricity costs.
Adjust Your Thermostat Properly – Savings: $120 a Year
In the summer, set your thermostat to 78 degrees. And in the winter, set it to 68. Considering how you currently set your thermostat, these settings may sound insane. But these settings should keep your home comfortable in both the summer and winter.
As an added measure, when you’re out of the house adjust your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees warmer or cooler depending on the time of year.
Changing your habits and following this tip can save you 10% annually on your electric bill according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Do Laundry With Cold Water – Savings: $214 a Year
Using cold water instead of hot or warm to wash and rinse your laundry can save you up $214 per year. How does this save you money? Because you are not heating the water in your washer with the assistance of your hot water heater.
Clean That Lint Trap – Savings: $25 a Year
Admit it, sometimes you get lazy about cleaning the lint trap before drying a load of laundry. But it doesn’t make much sense to save money by washing your clothes in cold water only to waste it by placing those same clothes in a dryer with a clogged lint filter.
Turn Down Your Hot Water Heater – Savings: $45 a Year
Think about this for a second. When you take a hot shower, how far do you turn the knob? If you turn the knob past half-way, the water is just too hot.
Truth be told, most hot water heaters are set to about 140 degrees which is too high and wastes electricity. By turning it down to 120 degrees, you can save about $45 a year. And you can still enjoy those hot showers.
Wear More… Or Less – Savings: ???
Previously we mentioned that you should raise your thermostat in the summer and lower it in the winter. To save even more money, you can wear more clothing (layering) in the winter and wear less in the summer. By doing this, you could adjust your thermostat even further.
Throw Out Those Old Light Bulbs – Savings $100 a Year
Now is the time to throw out your old-fashioned light bulbs and replace them with energy-efficient LEDs. Yes, it will cost you more money upfront (LED bulbs cost roughly $5 each). But it will save you money in the long run.
Unplug Unused Electronics – Savings: $100 a Year
Did you know that even though you turn off your electronics – such as your television, sound bar or computer – they are still drawing power? This phenomenon is referred to as “vampire energy”. That’s because turned off electronics are still sucking power from your outlets and, at the end of the day, sucking money from your bank account.
Now we admit that unplugging these devices can be a hassle. So consider purchasing power strips and grouping devices that can be turned off at once.
Keep the Fridge Cool – Savings: $60 a Year
When was the last time you checked your refrigerator to see if it is running efficiently? Probably never, right? Here are some tips. Brush or vacuum the coils behind the fridge (and while you have it pulled out, you can clean the floor underneath).
Temperature-wise, set the refrigerator to between 35 and 38 degrees and the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees. And at least once a year, check the door seals. Here’s how: shut the door with a dollar bill inserted at the seals. If you can pull the bill out easily, it’s time to change the seal.
Shut the Doors and Lower the Blinds – Savings: Varies Per Household
During the summer, you can save money on electricity by closing the blinds. And during the winter, you should do the opposite.
As for doors, close the ones that lead to rooms that aren’t being used such as the guest bedroom. Also check the seals on both doors and windows to make sure that warm air doesn’t creep in during the summer and cold air doesn’t creep in during the winter.
Insulate Your Ceiling – Savings $125 a Year
According to the DOE, you can save up to 15% on your annual cooling and heating costs by having a properly insulated home.
Here’s an added tip: contact your electricity provider to find out if they can provide home insulation services for free. They are as interested in your home being energy efficient as you are.