Reduce Your Electricity Bill by Adjusting Home Activities

Posted on August 3, 2018 by Audry Black

Reduce Your Electricity Bill by Adjusting Home Activities

With the cost of education, housing, childcare, and travel steadily increasing, we’re all left trying to keep up with these rising expenses by looking for ways to cut costs. Finding untapped opportunities to save can seem daunting at times, but it’s easier than you might think—if you know where to look. Check out your electricity bill.

You can lower your electricity bill by making a few small adjustments to your home activities. Some of these changes are so minor that they won’t affect your day-to-day life at all, except for the fact that you’ll just have a little extra room in your budget every month.

How to Save on Your Electric Bill

You can save money on your energy bill with just a few simple techniques. Here are some ways to get started.

Plant a Tree

If you feel like your house is always too stuffy and you just can’t bear to turn the temperature down on your AC, you might want to consider shading your home. Plant the right tree or shrub to block the sun’s rays, keeping your house cooler and saving you a few bucks. Some excellent choices for greenery include the fast-growing “sun valley” maple or a crape myrtle with its dark, wide canopy.

Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

If you’re already good about switching lights off when they’re not in use, take the next step and upgrade your bulbs. Some bulbs are more efficient and can potentially reduce your electricity bill. Compact fluorescents (CFLs) have exploded in popularity over the last decade, but you should definitely consider giving LEDs a shot, too. They last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs and use up to 80% less energy.

Consider The Season

If you’ve noticed that your bill has significantly increased recently, think about what changes could have caused the increase. If it’s wintertime and you’ve cranked up your heat, try to find new ways to stay warm. It’s amazing what a sweater, a well-placed blanket, and a cup of hot tea can do for your electricity bill.

Summer Bill Tips

To keep your AC costs low in the long, hot days of summer, keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible when the AC is running. This helps to prevent cold air from escaping and making your AC work that much harder.

If that isn’t doing the trick for you, draw your blinds and curtains. It can be tempting to throw open the blinds on a sunny summer day, but those blinds aren’t just for privacy; they also help cool your home. If you can’t bear to live in a dark cave during the day, at least remember to draw the blinds when you head out.

What Is the Ideal Temperature to Sleep at Night in Summer?

The ideal sleeping temperature for most adults is between 60-67°F, while for children it’s 65-72°F.[2]  However, keeping your home this cool can become expensive in the summer, especially if you live in the South where summer night temperatures hover around 90° from June through August. See if you can tolerate slightly warmer temperatures at night by switching to linen sheets and a thin quilt.  

Winter Bill Tips

We’ve already mentioned a few tips for reducing your dependence on heat during the winter time, but there are quite a few ways to stay warm in winter while keeping your wallet full.

How Can I Lower My Electric Bill in the Winter?

First, make sure you’re not letting warm air leak out. You might be losing air from an old window that doesn’t close perfectly or that gap in the weather stripping on front door. Before the winter chill sets in , take a walk around your home and caulk all potential holes or leakage points to help prevent the hot air from escaping.

Second, consider investing in a smart thermostat. By having a thermostat that you can easily adjust your home’s temperature remotely during the day and even heat only specific rooms. If you only have one thermostat, try opening vents to rooms you want to keep warm and closing vents to those you do not wish to heat.

Here’s a fun trick, did you know that you can set your ceiling fan to reverse? Ceiling fans usually run counterclockwise, but most have a switch that can change to motion of the blades to clockwise. Hot air rises, so in the cold winter months, reversing the flow of your fan will actually force warm air down from the ceiling, keeping you a little cozier and reducing your overall energy usage.

To change your fan’s direction get a ladder, turn off your fan, and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop. Most ceiling fans have a directional switch on either the side or the top of the housing. Don’t forget to switch the direction back to counterclockwise in spring!

Is It Cheaper to Leave the Heat on All Day?

While you may have heard this idea before, it’s actually a myth. The cheapest option is to only use the heater when you need it. It’s best to adjust your heat to a lower temperature when you leave for the day and then adjust it to a warmer setting when you return home.

What Temperature Should The Heating Be On?

During the winter, it’s best to keep your heat set at 68°F or a bit lower. This range keeps most people comfortable without breaking the bank. When you leave home for the day, set your thermostat 66°F.

Saving Energy All Year Round

There are a few other sneaky ways you may be wasting energy. Here are some of our favorite tips.

What Is the Best Time to Do Laundry to Save Electricity?

Depending on your service provider, the best time to do laundry is between 7 pm and noon. This is because you would be running your load during non-peak hours, potentially making you eligible for a slight price discount. If you have nights or weekends free on your contract, save your laundry for those times to take advantage of the savings.

Is Electric Heat More Expensive?

When it comes to using electric heat, many worry that it’s more expensive than other heating options. However, electric heat is typically almost half the cost of other options like oil or chopped wood.

How Much Electricity Does a TV Use in a Day?

For those of us who leave our TVs on for our pets or to use as background noise, we no longer need to feel guilty about how it could be impacting our electricity usage. While TVs come in different watt types, a TV that uses 100w an hour and is on for 12 hours a day will cost you less than $100 annually.

Do Night Lights Save Energy?

Night lights help reduce the amount of energy you use by reducing the number of lights you need to turn on. While night lights still use energy, they are low in power consumption and generally cost less than $10 a year.

Does Unplugging Electronics Save Electricity?

Depending on what you unplug, yes! Larger items like computers use more “phantom energy” than other electronics even when turned off. However, unplugging smaller items, like a blender, will save you little to no money, so it’s not worth the inconvenience.

By being aware of your energy costs throughout the seasons and through regular use of electronics, you can make changes to reduce your energy costs. See what works best for you and your family to determine what is worthwhile to implement permanently.

 

 

Sources:

  1. Energy.gov. (n.d.) How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/save-electricity-and-fuel/lighting-choices-save-you-money/how-energy-efficient-light
  2.  Sleep.org. (n.d.) The Ideal Temperature for Sleep. Retrieved from https://sleep.org/articles/temperature-for-sleep/