When you’re looking for ways to save money, lowering your bills should be a top priority. Some bills are easy to lower, such as that premium cable subscription you never use. Others might seem impossible to cut down.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’d love to lower your electric bill, but you’re not sure where to start. The good news is there are a lot of little changes you can make to help cut energy costs. Start by trying these six simple tips to lower your electric bill.
1. Program Your Heating and Cooling
There are a lot of fancy smart-home devices available today, and they can get pretty expensive. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune to add a few smart elements that can help cut your power bills.
Start with a programmable thermostat. You can opt for a top-of-the-line smart thermostat or a simple programmable one. Some smart thermostats allow you to change your home’s temperature from your smartphone remotely. Even a simple programmable thermostat lets you set the temperature in your home for specific times of the day.
Programming your heating and cooling saves you money on electricity by maximizing efficiency when you need it most. In the summer, you could set the thermostat to start running the air conditioning about an hour before you get home from work in the evening. You’ll come home to a cool house while not wasting money cooling the house when no one’s home.
2. Unplug Appliances When Not in Use
It’s not always easy to tell if an appliance or gadget is using electricity when it’s turned off, but a lot of them do. Even if you hit the “off” button, leaving an appliance plugged in could be costing you money.
You can cut this unnecessary expense by unplugging appliances when you’re done with them. After making breakfast, unplug the toaster so it doesn’t sap energy till the next morning. You can do the same with almost any appliance or tool in your home — from gaming consoles and televisions to coffee makers and microwaves.
Unplugging all of your appliances after each use might seem inconvenient. Once you’re in the habit, however, you’ll enjoy a lower electric bill while also reducing your chance of overloading an outlet and causing a home fire.
3. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Traditional clothes-washing wisdom might tell you to use hot water to get your clothes clean. That’s because laundry detergents of the past needed the heat from hot water to activate. Most modern detergents, however, can work just as well in cold water as hot.
This is good news for your wallet since heating the water for a load of laundry uses a lot of energy. By washing clothes in cold water, you’re reducing the amount of electricity you need.
As a bonus, you’ll also get more use out of your clothes. Cold water is generally less harsh on your clothing than hot water. Hot water can cause fibers to break down and lead to shrinking, running dyes, or faded colors.
Make your laundry even more energy-efficient by skipping a cycle in the hot dryer. You can line-dry your clothes for similar benefits — you’ll save money on energy costs and your clothes won’t be exposed to extreme heat.
4. Wear the Right Clothing
It may sound silly but wearing the right clothes indoors can help reduce your heating and cooling costs, ultimately lowering your electric bill.
In the winter, you might be tempted to crank the heater and start a cozy fire in the fireplace. After a while, you realize you’re warm. Instead of turning down the heat or putting out the fire, you change into shorts and a tank top to beat the heat.
In the summer, you could end up doing the opposite. You run the air conditioner so the house is cold, then pull on a sweatshirt or long pants because you’re chilly.
Most of the time, you probably don’t realize you’re changing to match your current comfort level. The next time you reach for an extra layer or change into summer clothes in the winter, try adjusting your home’s thermostat instead.
5. Maintain Your HVAC System
Your heating and cooling system has to work hard to give you an ideal indoor temperature, especially if the outdoor temperature is extreme. The best way to keep your HVAC system from running up your electric bill is to practice proper maintenance.
The easiest step is to replace your air filter regularly. The air filter works to keep debris, dust, and allergens out of the air in your home. As the particles collect in the filter, the system has to work harder to move air through. Check your air filter regularly. If it’s dirty and dusty, it’s time to replace it.
You should also consider hiring a professional HVAC technician to service your system each year. A professional will have the tools and knowledge to alert you if there are any issues and clean your system so it’s running properly.
6. Keep Your Appliances in Good Condition
A dirty appliance in need of repairs often costs a lot more to run than a clean one. Reduce your energy costs by keeping your appliances in good repair. If you notice an appliance isn’t running as efficiently, such as a dryer not drying clothes , clean out dust, dirt, and buildup or contact a repair company.
When your appliance gets beyond repair, you might want to think about replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Many modern appliances are designed to reduce energy costs and may even come with a rebate from your local power company.
Reducing your energy expenses can be easy is you follow these six steps. Remember to monitor your monthly bill to see the impact these costing-saving ideas can have on your electric bill.