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Top Tips for Lowering Your Electric Bill

3 electric meters side by side

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The average American family pays $117.46 per month for electricity. That's over $1,400 spent each year on powering one's home.

Your electric bill consists of multiple factors, such as delivery fees, surcharges, and usage costs. You usually can't do much about delivery fees and surcharges but what you can do to lower your electric bill is to cut back on how much electricity you use, which lowers the usage part of your bill.

Your electricity usage is measured in kilowatt hours. The more kilowatt hours that you use, the more you'll pay for electricity. For example, if you have an appliance that uses 1000 watts and you run it for 1 hour, you will use 1 kilowatt hour of electricity. 

Due to how this works, it's helpful to know how many watts or kilowatts you're using for your major appliances, computers, lights, and so on. By reducing your usage, you'll be able to reduce how much you pay for your electric bill each month.

Of course, some months may have higher usage than others. For example, if you have electric heat, your electric bill might be significantly higher during the winter. If you have central air conditioning, you may have a significantly higher electric bill during the summer.

In this article, we'll discuss how to lower your electric bill. By implementing the methods found below, it may be possible to lower your electric bill by 25% or more.

Let's jump right in.

Heating and Cooling

Your heating and cooling systems are the first places to examine how to save money on your electric bill. 

For one, instead of turning your air conditioner on to full blast in warmer months, find other ways to cool your home that will allow you to use let energy. This includes using box fans or ceiling fans to circulate air. 

Have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system. This means cleaning filters every 30 days and calling your local HVAC company to inspect and maintain the system annually.

In cooler months, if you have electric heating in particular, wear warmer clothing and use blankets so that you can set the thermostat a few degrees lower.

Use a programmable thermostat so that you can turn off your heating and cooling systems when you're not at home and have them come on shortly before you arrive home. 

Check out this article on how to save money on your heating bill. 

Water

You can use a hot water heater timer with a temperature control to schedule when your home gets hot water. By doing this, you'll use less hot water. This can save you 5% to 12% on the energy costs from your hot water heater.

Additionally, insulate your hot water heater with an insulating jacket to help mitigate heat loss. 

Installing low-flow showerheads helps you save electricity as less water will flow and less water will require heating when you take a shower.

Fix any leaky faucets that you have. Aside from wasting water, it also uses energy.

Taking shorter showers helps lower your energy bill, especially in households with multiple people taking showers daily.

Run your dishwasher at night as energy costs the more during the day during peak hours. Additionally, air dry your dishes instead of using the heat dry option. Some dishwashers have an air dry option, but you can simply open your dishwasher and let everything dry. 

Laundry

Do your laundry at night. Similar to running your dishwasher at night, you'll save money running the laundry machine at night when electricity is being billed at off-peak hours.

When possible, wash your clothing with cold water as you'll save a lot of energy not having to heat the water. Cold water cleans clothing just as well as warm water in modern washing machines, and you can use cold water detergent if you feel the need.

If you live somewhere where you can hang your clothes out to dry, you can lower your electric bill by skipping the dry cycle and drying your clothing on a clothesline.

Wash full loads on laundry only. Since laundry machines use a lot of electricity, it makes sense to minimize how often you use them, and you can do this by only washing full loads.

To increase your dryer's efficiency, clean the dryer trap of lint after each load, and once per month, use some soapy water and brush it out to clean it further.

Clean your dryer's exhaust and use dryer balls to further save energy from doing laundry.

Lighting

Use LED lightbulbs to save money on energy. You can save around $75 per year simply by swapping your five most commonly used light fixtures with LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. LED lights use up to 80% less electricity and cost up to 4 times less.

You can also install dimmer switches to lessen the energy usage of your lights. Dimmer switches have an additional use in that you can lower the lights when you're doing things such as watching a movie, make a room brighter when you're reading, or have guests over.

Plugs

Buy and use smart power strips. Appliances and devices like computers use electricity when they're not turned on, and you can lower your energy bill by plugging these appliances and devices into smart power strips, which then turn off power when the appliances and devices aren't in use. 

Using smart power strips saves time from unplugging individual appliances and devices each time they're not being used. This can come in handy whenever you leave the house or go to sleep for the night.

Windows

In the warmer months, use window shades to block heat from the sun. According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce the heat gain of your house from the sun by up to 77% by covering your windows.

Likewise, in the colder months, clean your windows so that the sun can get into your home, increasing your home's heat gain by up to 70%.

Install weatherstripping for your windows wherever you find drafts to help prevent cold air from getting in. You can also cover your windows with plastic wrap in the winter as a cheap way to keep the cold air out.

Entryways

Keeping air inside an area saves money on energy, so employing things such as draft guards to block out areas where air can leak out from your doorways is a useful way to lower energy costs. A faulty seal or leak, particularly on an exterior door, can hurt your wallet when temperatures are frigid outside.

Kitchen

Locate your refrigerator coils and vacuum them clean of dust and debris monthly. Cleaning your coils can reduce your fridge's energy costs by up to 35%. 

You can also install a faucet aerator on your kitchen sink faucet to use less water when you're using the sink.

Set your refrigerator between 36 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, as it's common for fridges to come programmed at cooler temperatures, which is unnecessary. Your freezer can be set between 0 and negative 5 Fahrenheit. Both of these settings will keep your food fresh.

By raising the temperatures of your refrigerator and freezer to these suggested levels, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars per year.

When storing food in the fridge, cool down the food first before placing it in. When you place hot food in your refrigerator, the internal temperature of the fridge increases, which causes it to use more energy to cool down.

Bathroom

Similar to the kitchen sink, you can install a faucet aerator on your bathroom sink faucet to save on water usage. 

As mentioned earlier, installing low-flow showerheads helps you save electricity as less water will flow and less water will require heating when you take a shower.

If you have the money to invest in your home, installing high efficiency toilets will save you money over the long run; approximately $20 per year, which can add up if you're staying in your house for a good part of your life.

Outside Your House

To keep your home cooler in the summer, you can install reflective roofing materials or paint your roof white, as this will reflect some of the sun off, which keeps your home from heating up as much. 

Having trees in your yard that cast shade on your house can also block sunlight, which keeps the home cooler in the summer months.

Using motion sensors allows you to only turn on exterior lights when necessary. You can also replace your exterior lights with solar lamps, which charge during the day from the sun and then turn on at night as desired.

If you live in a colder area, one way to insulate your house is to paint your house with insulated paint.

Installing storm doors prevents energy loss which can help lower your bill in months of very high and very low temperatures.

Ceiling and Box Fans

To give your air conditioning a break, install box fans and ceiling fans around your house to circulate the air.

This also works when hot air rises to the ceiling of your home. Your ceiling fans will move the air around, flowing warmer air back to you.

Energy Star Appliances

Energy Star appliances use much less energy. If your appliances need to be replaced or are over ten years old, consider using Energy Star only. With Energy Star appliances, you'll save money on your energy bill year round.

Wrapping It Up

Lowering your electric bill is one way to save money, and saving money is helpful so that you have cash aside for an emergency or so that you can pay off debt, invest, or enjoy experiences with your loved ones.

By employing the methods discussed in this article, you can potentially lower your energy bill by 25% or more. What would you do with that money?

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