How to Lower Your Energy Bill and Save Money in Your Home
Unless you’re rolling in cash, you may want to consider ways to lower your energy bill.
“Shut the door while the air conditioner is on!”
“Do we own the power company? Shut the lights off when you leave the room!”
Moms and Dads, husbands and wives and anyone paying the power company bills are likely to start tearing into energy wasters as the costs of energy continue on the rise. But, is it as easy as shutting the lights off? There may be a lot more that you’re not considering.
“The 115 million residences in America today collectively use an estimated 22.5% of the country’s energy. The typical U.S. family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills.” (Energy.gov)
Lessons from Mom & Dad that Could Save You Money
During a visit to my parents house over the winter, I went down to the basement to help them with something. I noticed scrap strips of insulation lying in a neat pile. I looked around and saw that the egress windows had been perfectly lined with the insulation, and fastened tightly shut. Cold weather barriers were placed at the foot of the exit door. Upstairs, glass storm windows were installed in windows and heavy lined drapes were neatly closed up in front of the windows at night. They had installed a new programmable thermostat and updated electric service as well. I was impressed at not only how well they took pride in their home, but also how efficient they were in lowering energy usage.
What You Ignore May Cost You Money: Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill
There are some general precautions you can take to lower your energy bill. Here’s a list for those who are looking to take responsibility and start cutting costs.
- Invest in an energy efficient boiler that’s the proper size for your home.
- Turn down your water heater temperature to approximately 120°-122° in summer.
- Install programmable thermostats.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs.
- Use an Energy Star Dehumidifier in basements during humid summers.
- Air dry or towel dry dishes
- Buy Energy Star appliances
- Run dishwasher only when full.
Living Rooms and Bedrooms
- Keep lights off when not in use.
- Plug TV, DVD & Blu-ray players
into power strips. When not in use, flip the power strip off.
- Shut off computers all the way.
- Use Energy Star Air Conditioners
Windows & Doors
- Close & lock windows when heat/AC is on.
- Close doors to rooms not in use often.
- Place anti-draft cushions or stripping in front of the doors, and/or install pliable seals on door bottoms.
- If you have cracks in door edges, apply new weather stripping.
- Use the washer and dryer only when washing full loads.
- Add a dry bath towel to your dryer to reduce drying time.
- Keep dryer vents free of lint clogs.
Air Leaks : Lower Your Energy Bill and Search for Drafty Spots
- Caulk air leaks where plumbing or wiring comes in through walls, under cabinets, etc.
- Install cheap & easy outlet & switchplate foam sealers behind switchplates and outlets.
- Check recessed lighting & attic hatches for air leaks. Be sure insulation is properly installed in your attic or in basement.
More Energy Saving Tips:
- Audio: Buy an Electricity Usage Monitor to test how much electric is being used.
- Unplug battery chargers when not in use.
What Uses the Most Electric
- Water heater
- Clothes Dryer
- Pool pump
- Air Conditioning
- High end audio systems
- Refrigerator (5x more than a TV)
Did you know?
Watching a movie through a PlayStation 3 using a subwoofer and standard 5.1 channel surround sound system jacks up power usage to 444 watts, as opposed to the same 37″ HDTV LCD with standard cable box which consumes 172 watts. Add high powered high end audio such as subwoofers, amps, tower speakers and extra channels and you might as well own stock in the power company. (Note: True Audiophiles will work extra long hours however, to cover the extra energy cost associated with the delightful feeling of blowing holes through the sheetrock..)
Energy tip: You can lower your energy bill by deciding what you want to eat before you stand in front of the refrigerator door.