How to save on energy bills
Check out these ideas to cut your home's energy bill with easy fixes and long-term solutions to save more and use less.
You have to pay your utility bills no matter what they are (and what the temperature is outside) but a few easy steps can help you trim your energy consumption. Consider these ways to reduce energy consumption at home that may help you save more and use less.
Tips to help trim your energy bills
Unplug unused electronics and small appliances
According to Trulia, those electronics and small appliances that you only need for part of the day, like the microwave, phone charger and coffee maker, for example, consume a whopping 10% of your yearly energy costs. Use, then unplug if possible.
Only run your major appliances (like your dishwasher and your washer and dryer) during "non-peak hours" — pre-specified times typically associated with lower demand. Check with your utility company for the details.
Check for proper insulation
Just a slim gap of 1/8 inch around a door frame is about the same as having a 2.5-inch hole in a wall to the outside. To find out which doors and windows are contributing to your high energy bills, hold a lit candle close to the frames and see if a draft blows the flame. If it does, consider sealing with plastic insulation kits or re-caulking windows, and boosting the weather stripping on doors. Learn more about making windows more efficient.
Turn down your water heater
One of the biggest energy hogs in your home might surprise you: your water heater. Many are set to 140º, but 120º works well for daily needs. And turning down your water heater by just 10 degrees may save you up to 5% on your energy bill. Want another way to help trim water costs? Identify and fix any leaky faucets.
Utilize energy saving smart home devices
Technology continues to pay real dividends for homeowners, particularly when it comes to saving on energy bills. Smart lighting options enable you to check whether you left lights on when you're away from home, and smart blinds let you open and close window coverings to take advantage of sunlight or keep out nighttime drafts.
Use natural light
An easy way to conserve energy at home is to use natural light. Open the curtains and let the sun in to help light those areas used most in your home. You can buy lightweight curtains or blinds to give you some privacy while letting in the natural light.
Seasonal energy tips
Use a timer for Christmas or decorative lights. LED lights last longer and save money according to energy.gov. Make sure to turn off all holiday lights at night and when you’re not home.
Look at these tips to save money on winter energy expenses and help winterize your home wherever you live.
Ideas for long-term energy bill solutions
Get an energy audit or assessment
Your utility company typically offers these free, and they'll visit you in your home to help identify key areas to upgrade to save energy at home. They may suggest boosts in under- or uninsulated areas, as well as offer suggestions on a new HVAC system, too.
Swap out your light bulbs
Simply replacing standard light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs can help save you money on your energy bill, and they last much longer!
Position new trees on the north and the west to block the coldest winds and summer's most punishing rays. In addition, plant new trees to shade HVAC units to reduce air conditioning costs.
Replace inefficient house systems
New dishwashers consume about half the water as those from the 1990s, and efficient laundry appliances may trim your energy bill by about 25%. A programmable thermostat can also save on utility bills by setting the temperature to different levels at certain times of the day, such as when you're away from home.