Saving money on your electric bill doesn’t have to be a huge challenge. Just take a few simple steps to manage your home’s energy use. Here are 10 suggestions to help you slash your electric bill:
1. Unplug all those appliances and electronics that you aren’t using or when you are gone. These actually drain power even when they are off! Even though this may not be a huge savings, everything helps. You can even buy smart power strips that turn off automatically so you don’t have to run around the house unplugging everything.
2. Turn your thermostat down to 68 degrees for the winter months when at home and lower 7 to 10 degrees when away or sleeping (per Honeywell instructions). If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, installing one is a great way to save money on your heating bill. If you are cold, only adjust your thermostat by 1 degree at a time so that your auxiliary heat doesn’t kick in. It takes a lot more energy and money to heat your home in the auxiliary or emergency heat mode. Click here: Honewell Tstat Energy-Saving Settings
3. If you have baseboard heat, turn the heaters off in the vacant rooms and close the doors. Or you may want to invest in a ductless mini split heating/cooling system. This system requires no demolition of your home, just an install of a heating/cooling wall unit(s). These ductless splits are far more energy efficient in heating your home, PLUS you get the added bonus of air conditioning for those hot summer months! You can save up to 60-70% on your utility bills.
4. Your heating system is the most expensive item to run in your home. So be sure to have your furnace cleaned every year for optimum performance and to lengthen the life of your system. Also, change your system’s filters on a regular basis. Having a dirty filter means your system has to work even harder costing you a lot more money.
5. When you have a forced air system, closing vents may not be the best solution to keep the costs down on your electric bill. Closing vents forces your system to work harder to push air through the system. It’s better to have more airflow in your home. Make sure there you don’t have furniture or other items blocking your registers.
6. Space heaters are expensive to run. If you need supplemental heat, isolate to one or two rooms by hanging up blankets, shutting doors, etc. to keep the heat in one area.
7. The second most expensive appliance to run in your home is the hot water heater. Make sure your hot water tank is well insulated. Keep the thermostat at 120 degrees or the low setting. Wash your clothes in cold water as much as possible. Don’t run half loads of laundry or dishes, wait until you have a full load and take shorter showers J. And if you want to make an investment, you can have a tankless water heater installed. These tankless water heaters provide only the water that is needed and doesn’t use energy keeping stored water warm. You will have the added benefit of continuous hot water, meaning you’ll never have a cold shower or bath again. You’ll save money on water, power to heat the water, and you’ll be helping the environment at the same time.
8. You may want to look into switching out your regular light bulbs to the Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). These bulbs consume 75% less power and last up to 10 times longer; however, they are a bit more expensive to buy upfront. Look for coupons or sales and contact your utility provider about possible rebates.
9. Replacing old appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, etc for more energy efficient appliances will save you money in the long run after the initial investment. Don’t move the old refrigerator or freezer to the garage and start using it because it can cost up to an additional $100 a month to run a non-efficient old appliance. As an added bonus, a lot of utility companies will offer rebates to consumers who swap out their old power hungry appliances for newer ones with better efficiency!
10. Make sure your home is properly sealed. Caulking around windows and doors will help keep the cold air outside, and insulated windows will keep the warm air inside. Be sure your attic, walls, crawl space, and ductwork are all well insulated for minimum heat loss and maximum heat gain.
Here’s to a happy, warm, efficient home!!!
Last year Washington State had a mild winter, so plan for a harsh winter with all types of extremes this year. Here are some tips to protect you, your family, and your home before the severe weather hits.
- If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the manual over-ride.
- If the power goes out, turn off the stove and other natural gas appliances.
- During a windstorm, go to a lower floor in a multi-story house to avoid falling trees, branches, or debris.
- Make sure you have battery-operated flashlight and you have extra batteries. Candles can cause fires.
- Turn off all lights and electrical appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. When the power comes back on it may have pikes or surges that can damage your appliances and electronics. When the power comes back on, the fridge/freezer will come on automatically and hopefully you will not have lost a lot of food.
- Be sure to unplug computers to protect them from possible surges when power is restored.
- Conserve water, especially if you use a well for your water needs.
Winter Storms – Ice and Snow
- Wrap pipes, especially those near outer walls or attics/crawl spaces. Remember, broken pipes can lead to a huge repair bill.
- Have rock salt or sand handy for traction with ice and snow.
- Be sure to fill up your gas and propane tanks before the snow starts.
- NEVER use a BBQ in the house to cook or heat your home. BBQr’s can explode and/or cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Educate yourself on how to shut off your home’s gas, water, and power.
- Get your heating system checked before the winter starts.
- Change your furnace filters and change the batteries in the thermostat and smoke detectors.
- To avoid damage from power surges, install a whole-house surge protection system in your home.
- By installing a GenTran near your electrical panel, you can plug your generator directly into the GenTran and flip the breakers "on" that you want running such as the well pump, freezer, fridge, and some lights.
The two home service companies we recommend:
For Heating Needs For Electrical Needs
One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning Mister Sparky