How to Reduce Your Electric Bill in 9 Simple Steps
According to recent reports, nearly one-third of American households -- 31 percent -- have trouble paying their energy bills each month.
Many people regularly find themselves in the tough position of having to decide between paying their energy bill and paying for their food or medical needs.
Even if you're not having trouble paying your electric bill, you probably wouldn't mind paying less for your energy costs each month.
If this resonates with you, keep reading. Everything you need to know about how to reduce electric bill costs is explained below in nine simple steps.
Reasons for a High Electric Bill
Before getting into the steps you can take to lower your electricity costs, it's important to first understand what's causing your high electricity bills.
There are many reasons why your electricity bills are higher than you'd like, but the following are some of the most common:
"Vampire appliances" that stay plugged in all day and suck up energy (computers, laptop chargers, televisions, etc.)
Lightbulbs that aren't energy efficient
Appliances that are old or outdated
Running appliances like washing machines and dishwashers when they're not filled
Charging devices longer than is necessary
Running the air conditioner while the windows are open is another common cause of high energy bills.
It might be tempting to throw the windows open, especially during the summer, but that sends the cool air (and your hard-earned money) right out the window.
How to Reduce Electric Bill Costs
There are many different issues that can contribute to high electric bills. Luckily, though, there are also many different ways that you can lower those bills, including the following:
1. Replace Your Lightbulbs
One of the best things you can do to lower your electric bills is to replace your lightbulbs with LED lights.
LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional, incandescent lightbulbs. They also last longer and are more durable.
You could save a lot of money with this one simple switch.
Start by replacing the bulbs you use most often. Then, replace the rest of them gradually as they burn out.
2. Seal the Cracks
If there are cracks in your home, then you're probably spending a lot of money each month sending cool air outside.
Look carefully around your windows and doors and check to see if there are any cracks through which air can escape. If you find any, use some caulk and weather-stripping to seal them up.
This is an easy and affordable process, and it can help to lower your electricity bills quite a bit.
3. Wait Until Dark to Use Heat-Generating Appliances
Do you ever give much thought to the time of day when you run heat-generating appliances like the clothes dryer or the dishwasher? If not, now's the time to start.
When you run these appliances during the day, your air conditioner has to work harder to keep up and cool down the house. At night, though, when things are cooler, the energy demand is lower.
Sometimes, electric companies also offer lower rates at night or during "off-peak" hours. Check to see if this is the case in your area.
4. Unplug Your Electronics
Make an effort to unplug your electronics when you're not using them. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of "vampire appliances" that are sucking up energy even when they're not in use.
It might seem like a pain at first to have to go around and unplug everything, but it'll soon become a habit.
5. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat works wonders for lowering your electric bill.
Set your thermostat so that the air conditioner only comes on when you're home. Don't spend your hard-earned dollars cooling down the house when nobody's home to enjoy it!
6. Replace Air Filters
If you don't replace the filter in your air conditioner on a regular basis, you could be dealing with restricted airflow. This, in turn, causes your air conditioner to run for longer periods of time and use up more energy whenever it's running. This definitely isn't ideal if you're trying to save money on your electric bill.
Set a reminder to replace your air filter once a month. That way, you'll be able to ensure that your air conditioner is running as efficiently as possible.
7. Use Power Strips
If the idea of unplugging all your devices makes you cringe, consider plugging them into a smart power strip instead.
A smart power strip will cut off the current when these devices aren't in use. That way, they won't be using power all day long, even when nobody's around to enjoy them.
8. Upgrade Your Appliances
If you want to lower your average monthly electric bill, you might need to spend a little more money up front.
By upgrading your appliances and investing in Energy Star models, you'll end up using a lot less electricity than you were using before.
This is an especially helpful tactic if your appliances are more than ten years old.
9. Do an Energy Audit
If you've taken all these steps and your electric bill is still higher than you'd like, you might want to consider an energy audit.
During an energy audit, someone from your local electric company will take a look at your home and identify the issues that are causing your electric bill to skyrocket.
Often, you can have these audits performed for free, and they help you figure out the exact cause of your high electric bills.
Reduce Electric Bill Costs Today
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to bring down your electric bill.
Now that you know how to reduce electric bill costs, which step (or steps) are you going to implement first?
If you have any malfunctioning appliances or equipment that are raising your monthly electric bill, or if you want to install more energy efficient lighting, contacting an electrician should be your first order of business.
Do you live in or around the Rockwall, Texas area?
If so, contact us at Rockwall Electric today to request service in your home. We'll help you bring your electric bill down in no time at all!