Ways to reduce your electric bill
Are your electric bills too high? Keeping the lights on in your home, along with the air conditioning, furnace, and hot water heater, can really drive up the cost.
As of 2020, the average U.S. household spent $117.46 per month on electricity, with the average U.S. resident consuming 893 kilowatt-hours per month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Avoid the sticker shock by trying these effective and efficient ways of saving money on your next electric bill.
- Get an energy audit. Many utility providers can conduct home energy audits to customers, sometimes for free. It will help identify ways to reduce your energy usage. If an energy audit program is not available in your area, conduct your own.
- Install dimmer switches. Dimmers allow you to set the room’s brightness, saving you on electricity.
- Keep your fridge and freezer full. By keeping your fridge and freezer full, you save money. Food insulates, lessening the time it needs to run to stay cool.
- Install ceiling fans. Give your air conditioner a break, and keep the air circulating with ceiling fans. They use less energy than an air conditioner. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it estimates that running an air conditioner accounts from 12% of all home energy costs.
- Line dry your laundry. Try air drying clothes when possible. A running hot dryer could heat up your living space, causing you to use your air conditioner more.
- Eliminate phantom power. Phantom power comes from televisions, stereos, computers, and many kitchen appliances when they are turned off. Simply plug them into power strips and turn off the strip between uses.
- Close your blinds and curtains. Reduce air conditioner usage by covering your windows on the sunny side of your home. Consider blinds, curtains, or tinted window film.
- Schedule yearly maintenance on HVAC system. Have the system inspected and cleaned once a year. This will help increase its efficiency.
- Change the air filter. To keep your HVAC system running efficiently, change every three to six months for pleated air filters and about every 30 days for fiberglass filters.
- Switch to LEDs. LED lights use 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Lower the hot water heater temperature. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the default temperature is 140 degrees, wasting from $36 to $61 annually. You can lower it to 120 degrees; however, the Department of Energy recommends keeping it at 140 degrees if you have a suppressed immune system or chronic respiratory disease.
- Upgrade to energy-saving appliances. Consider replacing your older appliances with Energy Star models that use less energy. You may also qualify for energy-saving rebates. Check with your electric provider for details.
- Wash in cold water. Save money by washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot.
- Get a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can be set to run less when you are away or sleeping.
- Use an energy-efficient power strip. Replace your surge protector with an energy-efficient one that automatically turns off power to plugs not in use.
- Remove sediment from your hot water heater. Sediment can build up, reducing the hot water heater’s efficiency. Drain the sediment twice a year.
- Insulate your home. Make sure your home is well insulated. Any openings or cracks can let cold air leak out or hot air seep in.
- Close the door. If you have multiple rooms in your home, consider closing the doors to unused rooms. It will consolidate your air conditioner usage to fewer rooms.
- Use draft stoppers. Prevent air leaks in your home by installing draft stoppers. You can block any leaks from doors and keep the air circulating without losing it.
The information is this article was obtained from various sources not associated with Adirondack Bank. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. Adirondack Bank is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the information provided or the content of any third-party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. Adirondack Bank makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.