Do you suffer
from sticker shock when you see your monthly electric bill? No matter
what your financial situation, paying bills is about as much fun as a
root canal. Read on for simple ways to lower your electric bill.
1. Close the
summer, close curtains on the sunny side of your house during the day.
Alternately, leave them open during a sunny day in the winter.
forget annual heating and A/C maintenance
According to the
U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home uses more
energy than any other system, typically making up 54 percent of your
electric bill. Ensure your systems are running at their highest
efficiency by hiring highly rated heating and A/C technicians to
perform annual cleanings and checkups. Also, be sure to change out
your air filters.
You might think
your appliances arenít using energy when theyíre turned off, but
this isnít always the case. To avoid using whatís called vampire
power, unplug devices when not in use. If the outlets arenít easily
accessible, plug devices into a power strip that you can switch off
and on when needed.
If your systems
are old, consider updating to more energy efficient products. The
energy savings and tax rebates available prove the investmentís
5. Change your
compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs provides drastic
energy savings. In fact, LED bulbs are 80 percent more efficient than
incandescent lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
6. Program your
thermostat at a comfortable temperature in the winter and summer, but
program it to raise and lower the temperature when youíre away from
your home or sleeping to save on heating and cooling costs.
7. Keep your
HVAC unit clear of debris
branches or debris on or near the system can hinder its overall
performance. However, an awning or tree over the unit provides shade,
which cuts energy consumption.
8. Plant a tree
Not only are you
helping save the planet, but the shade can provide relief on cooling
9. Check for air
Make sure no air
is getting through the weather stripping around the windows, doors or
attic. Seal any areas where you find leaks.
10. Turn down
Lower your water
heater base temperature to 120 degrees. Wash your clothes in cold or
warm water when possible, and only wash when you have a full load.
Turn off the heat dry option on your dishwasher.
Consult a highly
rated, licensed electrician if you have questions about reducing your
electric bill. You may also want to consider an energy efficiency home
audit to see if additional home maintenance might be needed to save on
future energy bills.