The first step in reducing the energy bill is determining what is costing the most energy usage in the house.
Understanding what consumes the most energy usage in the house allows you to focus on cutting back on that particular area.
There are several energy vampires in the house, such as kitchen appliances, cooling or heating the home, or various electronics that use a lot of electricity.
Understanding what is taking up the most electricity within the household is essential to target and minimize usage effectively.
Below is a list of top energy usage in most homes.
- Heating and Cooling
- Water Heater
- Unused Electronics Plugged In
Understanding where the majority of energy cost is going allows us to make alterations to lower the electric bill cost.
Below are a variety of suggestions to help you lower your electric bill this year.
Lower Heating and Cooling Costs
One of the most significant usages of electricity is heating and cooling. If your electric bill is high, reducing the amount of air conditioning or heating used can help lower the bill.
Below are a few ways to cut back on heating and air conditioning.
Depending on the part of the country you reside in, Fall and Spring can be great times to enjoy the cooler nights and use them to your advantage.
If located in an area where the temperatures drop at night, then placing a box fan in the window at night is a great way to bring in cold air without having to run the A/C.
A box fan blowing air into the house allows the ability to bring the cold air indoors. Furthermore, ceiling fans running at night let the cold air from the box fan in the window circulate throughout the house.
In the morning, make sure to remove the fan before the temperatures begin to heat up. After removing the fan and closing the window, cover the window with blackout curtains.
Blackout curtains help keep the room and the rest of the house cooler longer, which prevents you from running the air conditioning as much.
- Box fan in a window on colder nights.
- Blackout curtains keep the house cooler for extended periods
- Keep ceiling fans running to circulate cold air throughout the house
Winter is another brutal season for the electric bill.
Often, it costs a lot of money to heat the home.
It is essential to check any drafts coming from windows or doors during winter.
Cold air coming in through old windows and seeping through the cracks of doors can make it harder for homes to stay warm, adding to the overall electricity used to heat the house.
If any drafts are coming through the windows or doors, it is essential to fix them immediately.
During the winter, keep the blinds open during the day to let in as much sunlight as possible. Sunlight will naturally heat the home, allowing the thermostat to run less.
When the sun begins to set, it is a good idea to keep the curtains closed to prevent any cold air from coming into the house through the windows.
Another way to help save on the electric bill is by keeping the thermostat at a lower temperature. Wearing warmer clothes, such as fleece, can help keep you warm and allow you to turn down the thermostat.
- Check drafts coming from doors or windows
- Open windows during the day to let sunlight in
- Keep blinds and curtains closed at night
- Turn down the thermostat
- Wear warmer clothes
In addition to saving money throughout the seasons, there are several other ways to keep energy costs down throughout the year.
One way to lower the energy bill is by regularly replacing the HVAC and furnace filter.
If the HVAC and furnace filter is not replaced regularly, it will cause build-up. Build-up will cause the appliances to run harder, using more energy, costing more money in the long run.
Furthermore, not regularly changing the filters can cause the appliances to die quicker or need more repairs.
Another great trick to help save electricity throughout the year is ensuring that the vents in the house are not blocked.
Blocked vents will not allow proper airflow throughout the home.
- Regularly replace HVAC and furnace filter
- Do not block vents throughout the home
Reduce Water Heater Cost
Having hot water is lovely. However, it comes at a cost. Just making a few tweaks can save you on your monthly electric bill.
One of the ways to save on your electric bill is by showering instead of taking a bath.
A bath not only takes a substantial amount of hot water but, depending on the length of time, may need to be topped off with hot water to keep the bath warm.
Another way to reduce the water heater cost is by taking shorter showers.
If your household is accustomed to taking an hour-long hot shower, it might be time to cut those showers in half or even a fourth. [Read also: Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill]
In fact, according to Healthline, the average shower length is around 8 minutes. Anything longer than that leaves an area to cut back on.
Another tip to save on the electric bill is to turn down the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Oliver Heat Cool, for every 10 degrees, the water heater is lowered, and you will save about 5% on your water bill.
- Take showers instead of baths
- Shorten showers to 8 minutes
- Turn the water heater to 120 Fahrenheit
Lighting can slowly sneak up on the electric bill.
This happens from leaving lights on when not in the room or at home.
It is easy to do, especially during the day when having the light on is not as evident due to the natural sunlight seeping through the window.
However, leaving the lights on costs extra to the electric bill. Turning off lights when not using is a great way to save on the electric bill.
Another way to save with lighting is by opening curtains and blinds during the day to allow natural light to seep through. Sunlight allows the rooms to stay well light without needing to turn on the lights.
The next time a lightbulb burns out and you need to go to the store to buy more, do your research before purchasing light bulbs. Buying cheap light bulbs is not always the most affordable route in the long run.
Cheap light bulbs usually use more energy, which adds to the electric bill, and will need replacing more often.
Therefore, look for energy-efficient lightbulbs and their lifespan to determine the best option for you.
- Turn off lights when not using
- Use energy-efficient lightbulbs
- Check the lifespan of a lightbulb
- Open windows during the day for natural lighting
Unplug Unused Appliances or Electronics
When items are plugged into an outlet and not turned on, it is considered on ‘standby.’
Although the devices plugged into the wall are not on, they can still use electricity.
Below are standard devices often plugged into the wall and forgotten.
- Televisions in rooms not often used (man cave, guest bedroom, etc.)
- Gaming systems
- Kitchen appliances such as coffee makers, microwaves, or toasters
- Styling products – blow dryer, curling iron, straightener
- Office Equipment- computers, printers
- Electric Piano
A quick scan throughout the house of unused devices and unplugging them will help save in the long run.
Having outdated non-energy-efficient appliances can waste a ton of electricity. The next time you need to buy an appliance for the household, research the energy it consumes.
Doing a little bit of research to determine the overall energy usage of an appliance can save you much money over the appliance lifetime.
Until the need to purchase new appliances, we have below a few ways to help save money with the devices you have now.
Depending on the electric company, they may offer off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper.
This is usually at night until the early morning hours. Contacting and finding out allows you to wash clothes and do dishes during this time to maximize the most savings for your energy bill.
- Buy energy-efficient appliances
- Wash clothes and dishes during off-peak hours
Washer and Dryer:
When washing or drying clothes, try to use full loads. Washing and drying just a few pieces of clothes at a time is a significant waste of electricity.
On the other hand, overfilling the machine is just as bad. It may not allow the clothes to dry in one setting but two.
Wash clothes in cold water. Washing clothes in cold water helps minimize hot water usage, which takes electricity to heat.
Another great tip is to clear lent after each load to get the most use out of the dryer.
- Put a Full load in the Washer and Dryer but do not overload it
- Wash in cold water
- Clear lent after each load
The dishwashers make life easier by quickly washing dishes after cooking and eating a meal.
However, dishwashers are another appliances that can add to the energy bill.
According to Angie, “Dishwashers save significant water, energy, and time compared to hand washing dishes.”
We have a few tips on how to save energy when using your dishwasher.
One way to save energy is by turning off the heat dry on your dishwasher.
Another way is by setting a shorter setting. Most dishwashers have different time settings to wash dishes. The shortest setting should usually suffice.
Setting your dishwasher timer should depends on how much food gunk is left on the plates. Having dishes with gunk may require longer wash times.
Rinsing off dishes immediately to prevent food from sticking.
Rinsing the dishes off immediately makes it easier than having to scrub the dishes by hand or add a longer rinse cycle to the dishwasher.
- Use a dishwasher instead of hand wash
- Turn off the heat and dry the dishwasher
- Set dishwasher timer to a shorter wash period
- Rinse dishes immediately to prevent food from sticking
A refrigerator is another appliance known to waste a lot of energy.
However, there are a few tricks to help the energy usage it consumes. For one, do not leave the door open when cooking.
Grab what you need and close the door.
Another trick is to clean underneath the refrigerator for maximum airflow.
Lastly, keep the fridge in the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Keep door closed when not using
- Clean underneath the fridge
- Keep the refrigerator at the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
These are a few tips and tricks to help you save on your electric bill.
If you have any suggestions or tricks, not in the article above, share them in the comment section below. We would love to hear.
In conclusion, reducing the energy bill requires identifying the areas of the house that consume the most energy. Heating and cooling, water heaters, lighting, unused electronics, and appliances are the top culprits.
By making changes in these areas, you can save significantly on your electricity bill.
For example, lowering the thermostat during fall and spring, taking shorter showers, and turning off lights can help minimize energy usage.
It is also essential to regularly replace HVAC and furnace filters, not block vents, and buy energy-efficient appliances. These small changes can add up and make a big difference in your monthly bills.
Some of these tips may seem a bit extreme. Please note these are suggestions to help save on electric usage, and it is ultimately up to you to determine the extent to which you feel comfortable cutting back.
Depending on how dire the financial need will determine how much is needed to cut back. For some, the extremity within the article is needed to make the monthly payments.
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Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.
Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.
When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.
Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!