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Here are the top six ways to lower your electricity bill today.
When it comes to saving money and the environment energy use is one of the easiest places to start.
According to Department of Energy studies the average sized home uses about three times more energy than those of the 1960′s. The reasons for this are multiple, including larger home sizes, but an explosion in the number of electronics and plug in gadgets are at the top of the list. Also, thanks to central air and heating we now expect our homes to remain a constant temperature year round.
We expect this year round comfort but many homes that were built in earlier times do not have proper insulation and even those built recently may be needing additional sealing and weatherproofing to be fully efficient.
Top Way To Reduce Your Electricity Bill #1. Lights
Starting with the easy things, you can replace all of your bulbs with compact fluorescents. There are now compact fluorescent in whatever shade of light you prefer, whether it be bright white or soft white, even yellow bug lights, and bulbs come in every size and shape including those mini lights used in chandeliers.
You can expect to lower your home electricity bill up to 7% after replacing your bulbs.
Programmable Thermostats Example Of Energy Saving Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a great way to save up to 50% on your heating and cooling bill. The newer ones are easy to use and program and if you work away from home on any kind of a regular schedule they can really make a difference. Since heating and cooling accounts for over half of your electricity bill expect to save as much as 25% overall.
How to use a programmable thermostat: For example, if you and your spouse are away from home roughly from eight in the morning to four in the evening, you can set the programmable thermostat to allow the home to get warmer in the summer while you are gone or cooler in the winter and then to start to cool off or heat up just before you come home. For those areas where electricity costs vary by time of day you may save by warming or cooling the house more during certain off peak times.
over half of your electricity bill expect to save as much as 25% overall.
Top Way To Cut Your Electricity Bill #3.
Insulate The Water Heater A Water Heater Insulating Jacket.
Installing a hot water heater jacket is one of the top ways to cut your electricity bill without spending a lot of money. For the modest sum of around twenty to thirty dollars you can buy an insulating jacket for your hot water heater. Even the most efficient hot water heaters loose much of their heat through the metal exterior. You can expect to save up to $100 per year. If you are ready for a new hot water heater and have natural gas or propane, consider a demand hot water heater made by a company such as Rinnai. These heat water only when you need it and can save a third or more on hot water heating costs. Hot water heating can be as much as one fourth of your electricity bill if you have an electric hot water heater.
Top Ways To Cut Your Electricity Bill #4.
Insulate and Cool Off The Attic Rolls of Radiant Barrier Insulation.
One of the top ways to reduce your electricity bill in summer is to cool off your attic. During the summer your home gains much of its heat from the ceiling, through transfer from a hot attic. You can first add more insulation. Blow-in insulation is one of the easiest ways to insulate an attic. Cellulose insulation is a “green product” since it is made of recycled newspaper and it is fire and bug resistant because it has been treated with the safe mineral borate. Radiant barrier insulation, such a the product “Reflectix” can help keep your attic cooler by reflecting radiant heat from your hot roof. Radiant barrier insulation can be easily added to your attic by stapling it between the rafters up against the underside of the roof. See related article: Radiant Barrier Insulation
Adding a solar powered attic fan can help get hot air out of the attic. See article: Solar Powered Attic Fans
Top Ways To Reduce Your Electricity Bill #5.
Stop Window Heat Transfer Energy Saving Solar Screens On A Home
Among the top ways to cut your electricity bill is to cut the heat gain from your windows in summer and heat loss during winter.
Much heat is gained or lost through windows, as much as a quarter of your home’s heat according to the Energy Star website.
If you cannot afford new, double pane insulated windows you can seal the ones you have and add insulated drapes that cover the entire window. To cut down on summer heat gain consider adding solar screens that block up to 80% of the heat from hitting the glass. These run in the neighborhood of a eighty bucks per window but you can just install them on the windows that get the most sun.
If you live in a cold climate the simple act of repainting your home a few shades darker in color can reduce your heating costs by allowing your home to absorb more solar energy. Likewise, in warm climates, painting the home a shade of white can significantly reduce cooling costs. Which way to go depend on whether heating or cooling is a bigger expense for you.
Top Ways To Reduce Your Energy Bill #6.
Vampire or Phantom Loads Example Of A Phantom Load, Satellite TV Box Draws 40 Watts When Off.
See “How Much Do Phantom Loads Cost Us?”
According to the DOE, vampire or phantom loads, which are appliances and devices that appear to be off but are still drawing power, account for over three billion dollars or around seven percent of U.S. electricity use. If seven percent of your home energy bill goes to wasted phantom loads then getting rid of the is definitely a top way of reducing your home electricity bill.
Use a device like a Kill-A-Watt to find out just how much each appliance in your home is using and put those on a power strip that you can turn off when not in use. Just putting your entire entertainment center on a power strip and turning it off when you are not using it can save as much as $300 per year. Look around your home and determine if you really need all the things that are using energy. If you have a second fridge in the garage, unplug it. It won’t kill the weekend mechanic to walk into the house to get a beer from the kitchen. Put things like garden water fountains on a timer or switch so it is not running when nobody is around to enjoy it. You can even modify a motion sensor light to become a motion switch for your fountain so it only comes on when you are in the garden. Look around, chances are that even in the greenest of homes there are ways to cut your electricity bill further.
When it comes to TV accessories like DVD players, computer peripherals such as printers and scanners there is no need for them to be on when your computer or TV is not on. A smart power strip, or smart strip turns these devices fully off when your computer does not need them. They typically have a couple “always on” outlets for modems, etc. Below is a photo a smart strip.
A Smart Strip Power Strip turns TV accessories, computer peripherals off when not needed.
By lowering your thermostat and installing a programmable one, insulating windows and doors and installing compact fluorescent lights and other measures as described above you should be able to dramatically cut your electricity bill throughout the year.
Content came from Savegreenly for this post.