Our customers often ask us how to reduce their electricity bills. Below we've provided a range of tips and tricks for reducing your energy consumption and helping you save money on your electric bill. From small changes around the house to routine maintenance, there are many things you can do to help keep costs down and have a more energy-efficient home.
Conduct an Energy Audit of Your Home
An energy audit is a bird's eye picture of your energy usage. It can help you see where and what is using the most energy and give you ideas on where you can cut back or make adjustments. Some utility companies provide free energy audits for their customers. You can also do your own energy audit using this helpful tool from energystar.gov. This free tool provides you with a Home Energy Yardstick score ranging from 0-10 and guidance on how to improve your home's score.
Take a Look at Your Lights
Keeping lights off when you're not using them can save you quite a bit of money over time. However, you can do more than run around your house turning off lights. Look at the types of lightbulbs and lighting fixtures you have. In some cases, you can swap your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents or LEDs. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs are significantly more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, and they last a long longer, too, meaning you don't have to replace them nearly as often.
Plug Your Electronics into Power Strips
Have you ever heard of a "phantom load"? This refers to power usage by electronic devices when they aren't turned on but are still plugged in. It may be surprising, but even when your television or computer is off, they still use power. However, if you plug them into a power strip, you can control when they have access to power. Basic power strips can be purchased for around $10, and when in the off passion, your electronics cannot draw power from your system, eliminating the phantom load and saving you money.
It is recommended to purchase a power strip with surge protection. Not only will you be able to eliminate phantom loads, but you can also protect your sensitive (and expensive!) electronics from dangerous power surges.
Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance
One of the largest users of electricity is your HVAC system. A system that is poorly maintained and not running efficiently is a drain on your wallet. By working with a professional HVAC maintenance specialist like ours at Meyer's Companies, Inc., you can ensure that your system operates at peak efficiency. Our maintenance technician can also provide you with additional tips and tricks for keeping your energy usage down.
Invest in Ceiling Fans
If you tend to run your heater or AC constantly, you should consider investing in ceiling fans. Fans not only require less energy to run than your HVAC system, but they also help your HVAC system run more efficiently. As your ceiling fans push air around in your home, they allow conditioned air to reach further and more quickly than just relying on your HVAC system. Additionally, the direction your fan runs in mattes. In the summer, have your fans running counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.
Improve Your Home's Insulation
We use a lot of electricity running our HVAC systems. While we rely on our heating and cooling systems to keep our homes comfortable, if they are not running efficiently or suffering from heat/cooling loss, you will pay more on your utility bills. One of the best ways to support your HVAC system's efficiency and save money on your electrical bill is to make sure your home is properly insulated.
Check to make sure that your attics and crawlspaces are insulated and sealed. Additionally, check your windows and doors for cracks and damaged weather stripping. If your windows are old (such as single-pane windows) and you are dealing with significant heat or cooling loss, you might want to consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows. Though this is an investment, new windows are better insulated and make a dramatic difference in your home's energy-efficiency.