With the ongoing pandemic, more people are staying home for safety reasons. Others are now adapting to the work-from-home set up, as companies embrace the “new normal.”
Because of this, those who stay home have no choice but to pay higher electric bills than they used to. You’d be wise to find ways to lower your consumption wisely. You’ll also want to learn how to do so with minimal cost and sacrifice.
If you want to know how to lower your electric bill in an apartment or a residential house, continue reading below. Check out seven of the most useful tips that can reduce your monthly energy consumption today.
1. Leverage Layers
Aside from being wise in your electric choice, learning how to lower your electric bill begins with you. Start by revisiting the clothes that you wear while at home. The key is to dress up or down according to the current temperature.
Most work-from-home setups don’t require you to wear uniforms. Thus, if the weather is a bit hot, consider wearing comfortable clothes. Use shorts and short-sleeved shirts.
This will keep you from using the air conditioner all the time. If it is still warm, use the fan more often.
When it comes to your laundry, try not to wash your clothes in hot water. 90% of laundry-related electric consumption involves heating water. Instead, stick to warm or cold water when doing your laundry.
Additionally, schedule your laundry at night. Don’t wash your clothes during the day, particularly during peak hours.
2. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Another tip that goes a long way is to invest in a programmable thermostat. Replace your old one and enjoy up to 10% savings in your heating and cooling expenses.
If you don’t have the budget to get a new thermostat, make it a point to keep the same temperature steady. Keeping the temperature constant means you are using less energy on average.
Also, you should revisit the current location of your thermostat. It may be on the wrong wall where drafts and windows are. These areas allow sunlight to enter your home.
This can trigger the thermostat’s responses by exposing it to different temperatures. Place it somewhere in the house where it won’t get exposed to the elements.
3. Use a Slow Cooker
Do you love preparing food with your electric oven or stovetop? Consider reducing such instances and use your good old slow cooker.
Pull out your old slow cooker from the kitchen cabinet and use it more often, as it consumes less energy than the oven. Moreover, a slow cooker doesn’t heat your kitchen, which affects your indoor temperature.
4. Insulate Your Home
When was the last time you checked the condition of your home’s insulation? Does your home even have insulation, to begin with? If it has none, then you better insulate it ASAP.
Insulation helps regulate and maintain your home’s indoor temperature. This is crucial especially during the cold months of winter. The same thing goes for the scorching hot summer season.
Your AC won’t have to work as much as it should during summer. On the flip side, your furnace won’t require more energy to heat the house during winter.
Furthermore, a home with poor insulation can lose up to $2,000 annually on electric bills. The key areas you need to insulate include your attic, your walls, and your pipes.
5. Seal Your Home
Is your home well-insulated? Great! You’ll need to ensure there aren’t any leaks that will compromise your home’s indoor temperature, though.
Check your doors and windows for any leaks. These leaks may seem small and insignificant, but they leave a lasting impact on how your HVAC performs especially during summer and winter.
With these leaks present, cool air can get out of your home during summer. In turn, your AC will have to work harder to keep the temperature low.
On the other hand, you will lose warm air during winter because of these leaks. When this happens, your heating system will have to work harder to keep your family from the winter chill.
The best way to approach this is to hire an energy technician. The technician will then conduct an energy audit of your home. The audit will determine how much energy you are losing because of these leaks.
As for sealing off the leaks, caulk or weather-stripping will be enough. If the holes on your windows are extensive, consider replacing them with new ones. It is best to go for energy-efficient window replacements.
Additionally, check your air ducts for holes. These holes can affect the performance of your furnace.
6. Use Smart Lighting Fixtures
Are you still using those traditional incandescent light bulbs? Consider replacing them with energy-efficient alternatives like LED light bulbs.
LEDs or light-emitting diodes use 20% to 25% of the energy to produce light. This is a stark contrast to incandescent bulbs that lose 90% of energy as heat.
Moreover, LED lights will last 25 times longer compared to their incandescent counterparts. Also, make sure to buy light bulbs that come with ENERGY STAR ratings. The more stars they have, the more energy-efficient the bulbs are.
7. Learn to Unplug
Last but not least, you need to develop the habit of unplugging your electronic items. For starters, unplug your devices like tablets and mobile phones once they reach full charge.
If everyone is going out of the house, unplug your key electronics like the TV and sound system. Even if they are on standby mode, they will continue consuming energy.
Tips for How to Lower Your Electric Bill
Knowing how to lower your electric bill is something that everyone should learn. Whether or not it’s tough times, every dollar that you can save counts. Learning how to get your electric bill lower can also free up cash to put toward self-improvement or financial investments.
Most importantly, an energy-efficient home is an eco-friendly home.