Energy bills are often one of the most expensive line items in the monthly budget of a homeowner. With costs going up significantly during the hottest and coldest months of the year, homeowners often find themselves wondering what they can do to manage their costs.
The good news is that there are ways you can gain control over the energy usage in your home. Implementing one small change won’t likely have a big impact, but adopting a variety of new habits could noticeably lower your bills.
Here are a few tips on how you can conserve energy and trim costs.
Avoid peak rates
Depending on where you live, your energy costs may be dependent on the time of day you use electricity. Using energy during peak times can be more expensive than using power during off-peak times.
Check the website of your local provider, or review your monthly bill to find out when rates are less expensive. Many chores and activities that use energy, like running the dishwasher, or drying the laundry, can be scheduled for off-peak times.
Put your thermostat to work
Program your thermostat to ensure you are not overheating or overcooling your home. For example:
- During the hot months, program your thermostat to a comfortable temperature when you are at home, and raise it to 82° F or higher when you are away.
- During the colder months, heat your home to a comfortable temperature when you are at home and lower it to 65° F or lower at night and when you are away.
Also, be sure to always set your thermostat fan to “auto” for additional energy savings.
Most of today’s thermostats are programmable, but if you have an older model that isn’t, you can still make adjustments manually. Set reminders for yourself and soon it will become part of your daily routine.
Pull the plug when not in use
Many devices continue to use power even when you aren’t using them. It’s called phantom power use. These gadgets are constantly adding to your electric bill as they use power just by being plugged in. Do yourself a favor and unplug your gadgets and devices when you’re not using them.
There are some appliances, especially in the kitchen, that are inaccessible and unwise to turn off, like the microwave and dishwasher. But others—like your coffee maker, toaster, and food processor—are easy to unplug when not in use.
Electronics are also big energy users when plugged in. TVs, computers, phones, and chargers are constantly drawing power. An easy way to manage all of these devices is to use a power strip and simply turn it off when not in use.
Upgrade your appliances
Many older appliances were built to last and are still going strong. However, they may also be huge energy consumers. Advancements in technology have made most modern appliances more energy-efficient, so if you are still proudly using older appliances it might be time to consider an upgrade.
Look for appliances that are ENERGY STAR® certified as they will use less energy to operate. If you’re considering an AC replacement or furnace replacement, Sam’s Club Home Install Experts™ by Service Finance can help.
Change your lightbulbs
Lightbulbs may seem like a small thing, but switching to LED bulbs can make a big difference. LED light bulbs are now available in just about every size and shape—and they use significantly less energy than the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. Switch out all of the light bulbs in the house to see a real difference in your energy bill. You might also consider installing dimmer switches to reduce energy consumption.
Use an efficient showerhead
Changing your shower head to a more efficient model can greatly reduce the amount of water you use on a daily basis. Older, high-flow showerheads are inefficient and can significantly affect your water consumption over time. Consider installing a new, water-efficient model as it will result in energy savings.
Choose the right appliance
An electric oven requires a lot more energy to operate than a smaller appliance like a toaster oven or microwave. An oven is great for cooking family meals, but consider using smaller appliances for reheating food or cooking smaller meals, and you’ll conserve energy.
Invest in new windows and doors
If you are still not seeing a difference after making changes to reduce your energy consumption, it might be time to make a bigger investment. Installing new energy-efficient doors and windows are options to consider.
Energy-efficient windows use advanced technology to prevent interior air, either heated or cooled, from escaping your home. This increased insulation reduces your home’s energy consumption, while also making your home more comfortable.
Installing energy-efficient doors will also help insulate your home and reduce your energy consumption and your bill! There’s a broad range of options available.
You might also consider upgrading your garage door to a more energy-efficient product. Garage door technology has come a long way over the last few years and there are many different energy-efficient styles available.
Some of these tips to reduce your energy bill can be done right away on your own, however, you should speak to a professional if you are considering major changes. Sam’s Club Home Install Experts™ by Service Finance provides free consultations and a 10% Discount Off Everyday Dealer Pricing* for Sam’s Club Members.