Reducing your electric bill is a must for many of us, especially during the winter. Taking a look at your electric use has many benefits. You’ll be able to save money on your monthly bill as well as reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact.
What can you do to reduce your energy consumption without hefty renovations like converting your home to solar? Here are six of the best ways to start saving on electric bills this year.
I. Add Insulation
How well insulated is your home? It’s relatively simple to check the attic and inspect around any openings like vents that permit air leakage. However, it’s a bit trickier to check the walls. One method is to turn off your power panel and remove an electrical box from one of your outlets. You can then shine a flashlight into the void to check.
If that sounds like a lot of work, rest assured that your efforts will save you money in the end. Most of your home energy use goes to keeping your house warm in the winter and cool in summer. You should see an immediate reduction in costs in the first month after tackling any necessary upgrades.
II. Caulk and Weather-Strip
If sitting by a sunny window results in catching a chill, it’s time to get out the caulk gun. Performing routine maintenance can help extend your window life, preventing them from getting loose. It also provides a watertight seal to keep moisture from getting into your walls, rotting wood, and causing toxic mold.
Do you see a crack beneath your doors? If so, head to your local hardware store and drop less than $10 on a package of weather-stripping. Doing so can pay for itself in energy costs within the first month.
III. Change Your Light Bulbs
Today’s LED bulbs provide longer-lasting illumination for a fraction of the cost of traditional incandescents. While you do have to spend more money per bulb at the store, you’ll save money in the end — as much as $10 to $20 per lamp per year. If you have a lot of lights in your home, that chunk of change quickly adds up.
Do you have chargers and appliances plugged in all over your home? Leaving them in the socket could cost you money while contributing to climate change. Unplugging them when not in use is an easy way to resolve these problems.
The reason? Every appliance you leave plugged in bleeds some energy like a vampire. Items with transformers — those big black boxes common on computer cables — waste up to a third of the energy passing through them. Be sure you’re not just removing the charger from your phone or laptop, but you’re removing the plug from the wall completely.
V. Take Advantage of Passive Solar
Does your home have south-facing windows? If so, take down any heavy blackout curtains and let the sun illuminate them. Doing so helps you take advantage of passive solar heat in the winter.
The opposite effect happens in the summer. Cover any windows exposed to the sun to drop the temperature in your home a degree or two.
VI. Turn Down the Thermostat
Finally, the easiest way to save energy is to adjust your thermostat. Doing so by one degree will save you 2-3% on your home heating and cooling costs. It also shrinks your carbon footprint.
Pleasing everyone in the thermostat wars might seem impossible. However, compromise on a happy medium with your clan — remember, even one degree makes a difference.
Start Saving on Electric Bills This Year
Whether you live in a house or an apartment, there are different ways you can make a dent in your energy bill each month. You can take on these projects yourself or enlist your landlord for help. These six methods could bring you massive savings this year.
Author Bio: Cora Gold is an avid writer who loves to share her experiences with life, family, home, and more with others who share her passions. She is the Editor-in-Chief for Revivalist magazine and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.