5 Simple, Effective Steps to Reduce Home Electricity Bills
Some cities across the world has seen incremental rises in electricity bills, even if their voltage usage is same throughout the year. Unfortunately, many factors (that cannot be personally influenced) affect the average cost of electricity. From political factors to natural factors, there are many reasons why you may have seen a huge increase in electricity bills. If you are in need of living a frugal living or simply want to play your part as an eco-warrior, there are several simple steps you can take in order to reduce your home electricity bill. This Hubpages examine 5 simple, but effective steps you can take to slowly reduce your financial strains. Some methods may not apply for certain countries, if they have different customs or systems, so follow these guidelines at your own risk. Before you start applying these steps, there are several preparation guidelines you will have to follow. If there are more than one member in the household, create a simple survey and ask each member to write down how they often use electricity, whether that would be for the television, for studying, or for recreational use. This will give you a better understanding of how you can reduce your electricity bills. It really requires a group effort.
#1 Unplug Passive Gadgets
In your households, there will be several devices that are plugged into an electricity outlet all the time. These include appliances such as your television, refrigerator, computer, and power chargers. Fact is, even if these devices are turned off, it will still consume a tiny bit of electricity on a daily basis. From a daily perspective, it may not seem like a much, but over a span of a year, it may suddenly become a significant part of your electricity burden. Therefore, whenever such appliances are not in use, always unplug the power cable from the outlets. Entertainment appliances like televisions are a must. Have a look at your corner desk surface. Is there anything that simply does not have to be turned on? You may not realize, but perhaps you leave the lamp on all the time. Check every gadget and analyze whether its usage is appropriate it or not.
#2 Air Conditioners and Heaters
During winter and summer seasons, it is really tempting to simply turn on the air conditioner or heater all day or all night long. This really is not necessary, unless your home happens to have very little insulation. More often than not, a few hours would be more than enough to keep your room warm or cold for several hours (depending on the time of season). Therefore, before you go to sleep or go out for work, make sure you set a timer on the heater or air conditioner so it turns off after an hour. This will reduce your electricity bills by an immense margin. For example, if you sleep at midnight, set your air conditioner so it turns off automatically by 2 or 3 AM latest.
Not many people realize how much of an impact insulation can have on their electricity bills, not just to retain heat, but to also retain the cool air during the summer. Insulation is so powerful that you may not necessarily need a heater if your house has a maximized insulation design. Insulation methods can range from something simple such as placing carpets and curtains, to things a little complex such as double-layered walls. If you do not own your house, you will definitely need to consult with your landlord and architects before making such complex moves.
#4 Room Design
If you optimize the layout of your apartment, there are several ways you can reduce the level of electricity usage. For example, let's say you live in an apartment with one bedroom and a living room. You could play around with the lighting system in your room so it is able to reach both sides of the apartment. If you are building your own home, you should also make use of windows in order to retain as much sunlight as possible during the daytime. In conjunction with room design, you should also consider your own behaviors. If you live with several members of the household, consider setting certain rules. For example, you can only use computers in one area of the house so all lights can be turned off in any individual spaces. Small actions like this can have a significant impact on electricity usage.
#5 Solar Power
This depends on where and what kind of house you live in. First, you got to make sure you have a roof or some sort of top surface where you can easily install solar power panels. Next, you have to make sure there is nothing that obstructs the panels in its surroundings, such as trees and tall buildings. Solar power is starting to be embraced by many countries, such as the United States where subsidies are offered in order to encourage homeowners to install their own solar power kit. Unfortunately, solar power installation and maintenance comes at a price so you will have to juggle the pros and cons before you go ahead and install those cool solar panels in your apartments and houses.