Lowering your energy bill is actually a lot easier than you realize once you embrace the fact that all the little things count and you can make a big difference when you remain aware of this.
So before you even consider going through the hassle of switching providers, try these 10 tips instead, and see if it makes a significant impact on your next bill.
1) Dimmer Switches
You can use dimmer switches to do more than set the mood. And you don’t even need to do every room! Installing dimmers in the main areas of the household, where you or your friends and family hang out the most can make all the difference. Besides using less electricity, dimmer switches also keep a room cool as bulbs aren’t shining as brightly.
2) Air Dry Your Laundry
Plan your laundry days according to the weather. Set up a clothesline outside or on your balcony and once your clothes have been washed, spread them on a drying rack and clothesline outside. Your pocket will be happier but so will your clothes – you’ll lengthen their lifespan by air-drying by up to 30%.
3) Consider Using an Attic Fan
Yes, you could definitely install ceiling fans through all rooms. But if you want to be budget friendly, target the attic. Why? Because hot air rises and if you can keep the attic cool, that cool air will permeate through the rest of the house and will stop your air conditioner from kicking in as often.
4) Switch to LED Bulbs
LED bulbs are the way to go: these powerhouses use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and, as an added bonus, the light they give off is not as harsh and orange-hued. Perfect for living room selfies!
5) Use Nature As A Shade
If you have a house or a ground floor apartment, consider using nature to shade your windows off from the sun. Homeowners can plant trees strategically so that they grow to give shade while apartment-dwellers can use hanging potted plants with dense foliage. If you’re planting, make sure to plant at least 2-5 feet from the edge of your property so that roots don’t grow into your basement.
6) Turn Off “Ghost” Appliances
“Ghost” or “phantom” appliances are steadily running in the background even when you don’t use them. Together, these can account for up to 25% of the energy usage on your bill. Unplug appliances when you’re not using them and only plug them in to turn them on.
7) Schedule HVAC Maintenance Every Year
A poorly-running HVAC system can end up sucking up energy. This improves efficiency as well re-circulates cleaner air in your home.
8) Lower the Hot Water Temperature
Not all of us like the sensation of waking up in the morning with a cold shower. If taking a nice hot shower is your thing, indulge yourself. But, again, every little bit counts. So why not turn down the temperature of your hot water tank so that it doesn’t need to get [i]as[/i] hot as it usually would?
If you keep it at a lower temperature, you can limit the amount of energy it uses because you may not even use water that is that hot. A great way to savor your showers and lower your bill.
9) Check Your Fridge
Keep your fridge and freezer well-stocked because properly placed food acts as insulation in itself. Think of it like packing a cooler: you keep all the iced products together so they can keep each other cooler for longer, right? Your fridge works the same way.
10) Do the Small Things that Add Up
Think about all the appliances that you can “substitute” or go without for a bit. Once in a while, choose to air-dry your hair on a weekend, rather than blowing drying. Or, decide to chop your onions by hand or whisk eggs with a beater rather than a machine.