Today is the first day of summer and I can’t think of a better time to help you choose effective ways to reduce your energy bills. The average home spends almost 2000.00 a year on energy costs. But by using these easy saving strategies, you can lower your energy bills, use the savings to pay down debt, and help save the environment at the same time!
Some measures may not be relevant depending on climate, the age of your home and appliances, and past improvements made to your home.
- Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. Not only does it use two-thirds less energy than your stove, but it won’t heat up the kitchen they way a traditional stove will causing your air conditioner to work harder.
Use the Dishwasher
- Surprise! Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. But make sure to turn off the heated dry and let them air dry to save even more.
Stock up the fridge
- Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool. Also, try to place food in a way so you can quickly access without having to keep the door open for very long at a time.
Keep Lamps and Televisions away from the Thermostat
- These items exude heat, causing your AC to run overtime. Place the standing lamps and television across the room if you can and consider switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, which generate less heat, last longer and use less energy than incandescent bulbs.
Close Curtains and/or blinds
- During those scorching days, or before you leave for work in the morning, close your curtains and blinds to prevent the sun from beating down into the rooms and needlessly warming your home. Bonus: It will reduce fading of upholstery and rugs.
Crank up your thermostat
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away. Using ceiling or room fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room. Did you know that you can save up to 3% per degree, for each degree the thermostat is set above 72 degrees?
Avoid Peak Hours
To help prevent electricity outages, avoid running your appliances during peak hours, — from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. — or anytime an electricity emergency is declared.
- Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold water to rinse clothes. Switching to washing in cold water can save you up to 4% on your energy bills.
- Line dry clothes whenever you can.
- When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each use.
Eliminate wasted energy
- Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use.
- Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use-most new electronics use electricity even when switched “off.” Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
- Unplug or recycle that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don’t really need it. This will save you up to $150 per year!
Below are some inexpensive energy solutions to help you save even more on your home energy bills.
Replace air conditioner filters
Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing energy use. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit.
Choose ENERGY STAR® products
Buying and installing ENERGY STAR® appliances in your home will not only save you money each month on your energy bills, but you will probably be eligible for a tax credit.
Plant a Tree
Plant deciduous trees (those that shed their leaves in the winter, like a maple) by the south and west sides of your home to shade windows from heat. In the winter, their bare branches will allow sunlight to stream into your home for added warmth. Also consider planting trees or shrubs near your AC unit. It will use less electricity when operating under the shade