How to Save Electricity Throughout the Year
Updated: Oct 24, 2018
Your electricity bill may be outrageous and you may feel there is nothing that can be done about it.
It's likely you've heard to raise your thermostat a few degrees during the summer to reduce electricity use throughout the day. However, some electricity use is unavoidable and cranking up your thermostat to uncomfortable temperatures makes for very long, hot days.
How do you avoid costly electricity while staying relatively comfortable? Easy! You should follow the next 12 tips we've compiled in this article on how to save electricity. You may find them more comfortable than walking around in the dark or setting your AC to 80 degrees.
Let's get started!
Yes, this article is still talking about electricity and not necessarily water use. Yes, low-flow showerheads save water, but also electricity which will save you money.
Changing your old showerhead to a low-flow model will use less hot water. Less hot water means that your water heater isn't working as hard, burning through more electricity than needed.
Turning your AC up to 78 or 80 degrees in the heat of summer is unconventional and uncomfortable. You might be able to manage a cool 76 if you choose to install ceiling fans, though.
Ceiling fans use minimal electricity and can make a room feel up to four degrees cooler. Just don't forget to turn them off when no one is in the room!
LED Light Bulbs
LED bulbs are hailed as energy-saving for many reasons. They produce far less heat than traditional bulbs and run on far less electricity.
Less heat and less electricity mean your electric bill will become lower. In addition to saving money monthly, LED bulbs tend to break less, last longer, and function better in cold weather!
If you do not have a programmable thermostat, you are missing out and probably paying way too much for energy. The thermostat in your home can be seen as your HVAC unit's brain.
Programmable thermostats will allow you to set the temperature of your home and not have to worry about the AC turning off or running too long.
Choosing a higher-end smart thermostat will also allow for reports to run each month, showing you how to increase your AC's efficiency. Some of these units can be controlled from your smartphone and some will actually learn your home's schedule to reduce wasting energy.
While you're upgrading and replacing your thermostat, consider relocating it. A thermostat that is located in direct sunlight or in a droughty area may tell your AC to turn on or off more often than needed.
Chances are, you have motion sensor lights outside. These lights are there for security purposes, but can also be used as regular lights if family members are working or playing. These motion sensor lights aren't just for outside!
Little ones aren't the best at remembering to turn off lights and sometimes adults aren't better. Opting to install motion sensors will help reduce wasted energy as well as make it easier for the smallest family members to have light when needed.
Wash Clothes on Cold
Washing clothes on cold will help reduce the amount of energy your water heater uses. Aside from saving energy, washing clothes in cold water reduces wrinkles and is less likely to make clothes shrink.
Use Your Dishwasher
It is actually more energy efficient to use your dishwasher to clean dishes from dinner. There are a few keys in doing so though:
Don't rinse dishes before loading--if you must, use cold water
Run full loads, but only when they are loaded properly
Start dishes during non-peak household hours because of the heat the unit generates.
Opt for Air Dry Setting
There is a decent chance that your dishwasher has a heat dry setting. Don't use it.
Allow the dishes to air dry naturally or leave the appliance on the air dry setting.
Hang Dry Items
Choosing to hang dry your clothes may take longer than you're used to but by choosing this method you are saving electricity and also saving your clothes.
If you've ever checked the tags on your clothes, plenty of them probably say to 'dry flat,' 'tumble dry low,' or 'hang dry.' Most people ignore these for convenience sake, but doing so wastes money both on your electric bill and increases the rate of replacement for your clothes.
Change Air Filters
Changing your air filters is a commonly forgotten piece of maintenance and it can cost you dearly. A dirty air filter will make your HVAC unit work much harder than needed to keep your home cool. Changing your AC filter will also help you breathe easier and cause less sickness.
When AC units work hard, they use more power, increasing the amount of electricity used.
Unplug Unused Items
Unused electrical items are energy vampires! These items continue to use power as long as they are plugged in, even if they are turned off!
Basically, as long as these items are plugged in, they are drawing power for their standby mode. This electricity used can account for up to 10% of a home's energy bill!
Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade!
Every product has an expected lifespan. This rule does not change for electrical appliances.
The older an appliance is, the less energy efficient it becomes. This is partially due to age (think of grandma--still functioning, just at a slightly slower rate.)
Certain types of appliances make leaps and bounds of progress in regards to energy efficiency every year. It is also important to consider which of your appliances are older and cost you the most money in repairs.
Only choosing to replace one appliance that is constantly needing repairs and sucking electricity will save you a fair amount of money!
How to Save Electricity: Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are numerous ways that a household can save electricity and money! We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to decide which options will work for your family and realize that not all are doable.
If you want more ways on how to save electricity or need help executing them, contact us for advice or an appointment!