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How To Trim Your Electric Bill
So You Want to Lower Your Electric Bill
Especially in the summer and winter months, people can often end up surprised by the amount of energy they consume in their homes, as well as the high costs often associated with that. I'm no stranger to those "surprise" bills that seem to suddenly jump by $50 or more in the summer months. Through research as well as trial and error, I have found ways to prevent this, and even lower your bill during the other months as well. Here are a few.
Watch Your Thermostat
It's no surprise that heating and cooling your house draws the most electricity during those cold winter and hot summer months. Keep your thermostat set to 68 in the colder months, and 78 in the warmer months to cut costs. For every degree higher in the winter and lower in the summer, your bill can increase by up to 4%. It might not be as comfortable in the house as you'd like, but you can dress warmer or cooler to compensate. You can also use fans in the summer to help cool yourself.
Speaking of fans, fans cool people, not the rooms they're in, so if you're not spending time in a room, turn the fans off in there! There is no need to keep fans on for your furniture.
Turn Off Those Lights
Turning off lights in rooms that you're not in, is an excellent way to conserve electricity. My husband is notorious for turning on lights in rooms with plenty of natural light coming in because he "can't see" simply because that is what he's used to doing. After a while you will adjust to being able to do things with natural light, and your electric bill will also adjust accordingly.
In addition to keeping lights off that you don't need, replace the ones you do use with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), or even light emitting diodes (LEDs) both of which use less electricity than incandescent bulbs.
Leaving appliances that aren't turned on can also draw electricity and this can add up when it comes to your electric bill. Unplug your coffee pot and DVD players, and other appliances (especially those with lights and clocks on them) when you're not using them. Make a quick trip around your house and just see how much stuff you have plugged in, that you aren't using... You might be surprised.
Update Your Appliances
Energy Star appliances use less electricity to operate, than their counterparts. Many of them have a breakdown of operating costs (under average conditions) printed right on a sticker you can easily spot when shopping for them. The more energy efficient, the lower your bill.
Turn Off The TV
Many people leave their TV on as background noise, or just out of habit, when they're not even actually watching it. Make sure it's off if you're not using it especially if you're doing something in another room. In addition, turn off your computer when you're not home, or when you go to bed. Many people just leave the computer on all of the time, keep it in sleep mode and it's reflected on their bills.
Some Other Ideas
In addition to the above here are some other ideas to reduce energy consumption:
- Don't use the dishwasher, and wash dishes by hand.
- Line dry your clothes instead of using an electric dryer.
- Turn off your stove 5 minutes before you reach the cook time.
- Open your windows during the spring and fall months and switch off your AC all together.
If you're willing to make some adjustments, it may take a little more effort, but these things can significantly lower your bill, and if money extra money in your pocket isn't a good enough incentive, it's also good for the environment!