Keep Your Power Bill Down,
Even When the Temperature Goes Up
It doesn’t really matter if the economy is in a good place or a bad place, I don’t know many people who would say “No” to more money in their pockets. If you’re with me on that notion, then this article is for you!
Today, I’ll share 8 easy steps you can use today to trim money from your power bill. Actually, “trim” isn’t a strong enough word. Follow the information you find here and you’ll slice and dice your power bill down to a more manageable amount, even with the summer heat. As you make these changes in how you use energy, check your utility bills each month to see how the changes you’ve made are lowering your bill. Over the long term, make year-over-year comparisons. When you can see the savings building up, it’ll help you and your family stick with the changes you’ve made.
One last little bit of motivation – if your boss gave you a $100 raise, Uncle Sam would take his cut befoe you ever saw a penny. But when you save money on your power bill, it’s like a tax-free raise! Save $100 each month, and keep every penny. Let’s get started.
- Change the filter on your heater and air conditioner
It is very, very easy to forget about your HVAC filters until they are totally clogged. Just remember, filters are cheap, but wasted energy is expensive. Check your filters monthly, and change them every three months at least, or more often if they look dirty. Dirty filters waste energy, lead to early equipment breakdown, and can even contribute to respiratory problems and allergies.
Keep your air ducts clean, maintained, and properly sealed
Dirty ducts force your equipment to work harder, wasting energy. Improperly sealed ducts allow cold or warm air to leak out where it’s not needed, wasting energy and money. Dirty ducts can contribute dust, dirt, and other allergens to the air in your home, which you and your family breathe in. Ducts are easy to clean if you have the right equipment. Shop around for a company in your area that will rent the equipment to you so you can clean the ducts yourself, or for one that will come out to your home and perform the service for you.
- Install a programmable thermostat
Here’s how it works. You replace your typical thermostat with the automatic version. Then you set it so the heat (or air conditioning) comes on a few minutes before you wake up, goes off when you leave for work, comes on again as you’re getting home from work, and goes off again after you go to bed.
The advantages are numerous. First, you get to wake up to a nice comfortable house in the morning—no more freezing trips between your bed and your bathrobe in the winter. Second, you avoid heating or cooling your house during the day when no one is home or during the night when it’s just not necessary. Third, you never forget to adjust the heat or air conditioning at the time you ought to. You stay more comfortable and you save money.
- Adjust the thermostat for your water heater
Your hot water heater is the third biggest energy consumer in your home. So, lowering your water heater’s thermostat in the summer, and raising it a bit in the winter can put a big dent in your power bill. Conventional water heaters work hard, first to heat up the water, and then to store it (and keep it hot), so that it’s ready on-demand. But, when you turn down the thermostat on your water heater, it doesn’t have to work as hard. Many water heaters are set to 140 degrees. Try setting your unit to 120 instead. That will still give you plenty of hot water for a shower, but it won’t require so much work on your water heater’s part. And less work from your water heater means a lower power bill every month, up to 10% lower.
- Use Energy Star Ratings as a Guide When Buying New Appliances
Large appliances are big energy users. If you’re considering replacing any of the appliances in your home, such as your washer and dryer, your refrigerator, your stove, or your dishwasher, plan to buy an energy efficient version. The first thing to consider for energy efficiency is size. Larger appliances use more energy, so buy the smallest size appliance that makes sense for your lifestyle.
- Use energy efficient lighting
If you don’t like the more energy efficient LED or CF light bulbs due to the harsh light they put out, consider at least using them for outdoor purposes.
- Take care to remember your electronic gadgets
All those ‘black bricks’ plugged into the wall consume power as long as they are plugged in, even if you’re not using the gadget (TVs, sound systems, microwaves, coffee makers, printers, etc.). The quickest and cheapest change you can make is to use a power strip for your electronic gear. Keep the power strip within easy reach, so you can turn it off when you’re not using those machines. When the power strip is turned off, you won’t be wasting any energy, or money.
- Don’t forget the little things!
Issue a challenge to your household to build energy-saving, dollar-saving habits. Start with these:
- Take shorter showers
- Turn lights off when you leave the room
- During the summer, run heat-producing appliances like your oven at night when they won’t make the air conditioner work as hard to compensate. Run them during the day in the winter—they contribute heat to your home so your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard
- Opt in to savings programs offered by your electric and gas companies
- In the summer, close the blinds or curtains to save on cooling, and turn on ceiling fans to cool rooms before you turn on the air conditioner, sometimes the moving air will cool things down so well you won’t even need the AC at all!
Give Yourself an Extra
Edge With Technology
Depending on where you live, your electric bill may be one of the biggest bills you get each month. To get an idea of where that money is spent, you can purchase a device called a Kill-a-Watt. This device lets you see the exact power draw of your different appliances. You can use that knowledge to make decisions about what lifestyle changes will give you the most buck for the change.
Try executing one, two, or three of the strategies we recommend here and watch how your bills drop. Don’t let the high temperatures this summer drain your bank account! Fight back with these easy ways to lower your bill.
P.S. – Want to lower your power bill even further?
P.P.S- Watch our signature mobile power supply unit, the Power Whisperer, help a local communications team keep their equipment operational.