If you want to reduce power bills, combine common sense with some planning. It will take effort, but the bottom line savings will be worth it.
Below are several ideas, tricks and tips that will have your creative juices flowing to reduce power bills. We will be talking about strategies for both summer and winter usage.
Here’s a cool gadget that is very useful in helping to reduce energy costs. The Kill A Watt Monitor and Save A Watt HD Bundle, is a tool that shows you which of your appliances are consuming the most energy. On the save a watt portion, it allows you to customize when to turn off and on certain appliances, so they aren’t running 24/7. This can be a huge money saver to your annual budget!
How can I Reduce Power Bills in Summer?
If you need to have air conditioning, use a high efficient air conditioner. If you purchase a slightly more expensive unit, generally you will save up to 30 – 40% of your electric costs.
You should clean the exterior of the air conditioner coils regularly. Coils that are clean are more efficient and minimize power consumption. This will also prolong the life of the unit.
Use a water hose to clean the coils on the exterior. The coils on the inside should be cleaned during the beginning of the cooling season. Let a technician do this cleaning.
Did you know condenser units on the outside, are shaded by either trees or an awning minimize power usage by 10%? If your’s is in the sun, add something to shade it.
To make get the most from of your outside condenser unit, make sure that it’s not obstructed by plants, flowers, shrubs or grass. The clearer the area around it is, the more air flow you get, which minimizes the power you use.
Check your condensers regularly and replace any filters that are dirty. The cleaner the filters are, the more air flow (clean) will come in. This will help your system will run more efficiently and last longer.
Regulate the temperature to 78%, or the highest you can tolerate it. Consumption of energy goes up by 6-8% for every lower degree on your thermostat.
Invest in good quality draperies on your windows. Pull the drapes or blinds shut during the day, especially on the southern exposure side of your home.
When it is not snowing and not dark during the day, open your curtains to let the sun shine in. This is extra heat from nature will make you feel much more alive during those freezing temps!
Generally speaking, you can reduce power bills roughly 3% for every degree that you reduce your thermostat by. Turn down the thermostat 10 – 20% when nobody is home, and when you turn in for the night. The rest of the time, set it to the lowest point you can comfortably live in. Dress in layers, wear slippers or socks, to help keep body heat up.
If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when not in use. Otherwise, heat simply escapes.
Run fans in the home minimally. This means kitchen fans and shower fans. As soon as they’ve done the necessary job, turn them off.
Reducing hot water heater temps to 115 – 120% will also help significantly, without much impact to the family.
Keep heating vents unobstructed by furniture, carpeting, or clutter. You want the heat to be able to freely circulate.
Close the drapes at night to prevent heat escaping quickly.
Fix and close any air leaks in your home. A good way to find them is on a windy day take a lit incense stick, move it around known drafty areas to find them. Common areas to check are recessed lighting, sill plates, chimney flashing, door and window frames, under sinks, electrical outlets and duct flues.
Use door sweeps on all exterior doors to reduce air flow from under doors. Close all the air leaks you found above with either rope caulk, weather stripping or some other form of insulation.
Insulate pipes under the sink and hot water heaters. Add insulation to close any gaps around pipes going into the walls.
Homes that have ductwork for heating sources, can be losing close to 60% of the heated air, if connections are leaking or not well insulated. The heat travels through unheated areas of the house. To fix this, you can either hire it done by a professional, or do it yourself. This can bring drastically reduce power bills.
Look in attics, basements & crawlspaces for any ducts that might be disconnected. Reconnect these ducts, repair any places where they are pinched that block the flow of heated air. Any gaps can be repaired with metal backed tape or aerosol sealant. Where you can, wrap ducts with duct insulation. You may want to hire a professional for this task when there are lighting fixtures or electrical wires nearby.
This maybe the time to insulate further any attic, crawlspace or basement areas that may need reinforcement.
Invest in water filtered shower heads (they aren’t expensive and its not difficult) and low flow toilet tanks. Try to encourage all family members to take showers in as short as possible duration.
Check out our posts – Save Money While Grocery Shopping, Why You Need a Budget ASAP!, and How to Protect Your Family from Everyday Chemicals.
These steps will all help to significantly reduce power bills year round.
Until next time,