Electricity has been one of the world’s greatest inventions. Think of your daily life and how much of it is centered around electrical energy. It’s kind of hard imagining a day go by without your laptop, mobile phone, coffee maker, washing machine, stove, microwave, and so much more. However, no good thing comes without a price. As modern-day homeowners, we know how much money we scrape together every month on electricity bills but they just keep getting higher and higher. Well, if you’re fed up with “breaking the bank” on your electric bills every month, here are our top 5 tips to not only help you save money on your energy bill but also to help you reduce your carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly.
1.TURN OFF STANDBY APPLIANCES
Think of all the appliances in your home right now that are plugged in but are not in use. To you, it may not seem like a problem because obviously you’re not using all these electronics at the moment. You may not realize this, but a lot of electricity is wasted on appliances that are on standby. This is because your appliances still use electricity even when not in use. It is estimated that ‘vampire appliances’ like computers and televisions, use up to 5% of residential energy. It may not seem like much but it adds up. A simple solution would be turning off the switches from the wall, but in houses that do not have wall switches, you would have to unplug them manually every day. This may seem time-consuming in the beginning, but it will pay off in the long run.
2. MANAGE HEATING AND COOLING
One of the major causes of high electricity bills is our heating and cooling systems. I understand that trying to cut back on using your heater or air conditioner is difficult. Nothing sounds nicer on a hot summer day than coming home and cranking on the AC or how about turning on your heater during a cold winter night. These simple pleasures will definitely put a dent in your bank account. Also, good home insulation could really help cut back on excessive heating and cooling. Having good seals on your windows and doors will help prevent cool air leaking out during summer and warm air seeping out during winter. Have a contractor inspect your home insulation efficiency levels and there are more natural alternatives if you’re concerned about the environmental impact.
Apart from the obvious solution of using these your heater/AC less, we should also take into account the energy consumption of heating water. Water heaters are also a major energy sponge. We’re not saying you should ditch hot showers and start taking cold ones, but something as simple as opting for showers over baths or reducing the time you spend in the shower could really make a huge difference in the long run.
3. MAKE SURE ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES ARE WORKING PROPERLY
This may seem a bit confusing because you would think that a faulty appliance would use less electricity as it isn’t working properly, but the opposite may happen. Take your refrigerator for example. If the condenser coils or compressors are not functioning properly, it might be due to debris or wear and tear. Either way, the refrigerator will have to work harder to compensate for these inefficiencies thereby increasing the amount of electricity that would have been used initially. Another example is an air conditioner that is not regularly serviced which can cause the air vents to get blocked by dust or other particles. This will mean the A.C. will not cool as well as it usually does, forcing you to increase the temperature to compensate which in turn will use more electricity.
When you were younger, how many times did you hear your mom yelling at you to turn off the lights when you left the room? Definitely too many to count. Turns out she had a pretty good reason to yell. Think about how many light bulbs you have in your home, now think about how much electricity is being used per light bulb.
Here are some tips on how to reduce your light usage.
- Try using natural lighting when you can, instead of relying on artificial light for most hours of the day. You can open curtains and windows to let in more natural light. If you want the ability to access sunshine indoors but still enjoy the privacy that curtains provide, try buying a lighter shade of curtains.
- If you really want to go the extra mile, you could use candles, but remember to be careful as they could pose a fire hazard.
- Go the simple road. Turn off the lights when not in use.
5. INVEST IN ENERGY SAVING DEVICES
Changing most of your appliances to energy-efficient units may seem like an expensive option, but this will be a huge advantage in the long run. Energy-efficient devices basically maximize energy usage compared to other regular appliances, but not at the expense of your bank account.
- Replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or LED lights could save you a lot more money in electric bills. They are more efficient, last longer, and provide a more natural-looking light
- Solar energy is expensive at the beginning but makes up for it in the long run.
- Installing smart switches cost more than regular wall switches but can save you money. They are controlled remotely from your smartphone and could automatically turn off electricity flow to standby appliances.
- With dimmer switches, you might not be able to get as much light as you’d like, but you can modify the amount of electricity you would be using.
So, what are you waiting for? Try these 5 tips and watch them your bills drop.