As a homeowner in a high-tech society, there is no avoiding the inevitability of the power bill. From the lights to the washing machine, we rely on electricity to provide the comforts and conveniences a home has to offer. But the amount of your power bill is not truly set in stone. While you can’t actually cut the monthly power bill out of your budget, you can absolutely lower it in a long-term way that will save you hundreds of dollars in little power expenses over time.
Today, we’re here to highlight seven of the most effective ways to lower your household’s power bill this month and for all months in the future.
1) Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
Did you know that most water heaters are set higher than necessary? The appliance then uses electricity to heat the water to that point, waits for it to cool, and heats it to that point again. A lower temperature would result in a smaller amount of power being used for each heating cycle, and most water heaters can be set down to save money.
Lower your water heater target temperature to as low as 120, assured that you will never ever need tap water that runs hotter than that. In fact, you might have just saved yourself an accidental second-degree burn in the future.
2) Wash with Cold Water – Make Use of Heat-Up Time
‘Running the water hot’ is a standard household method that wastes both water and power. You can save a lot of money simply by washing dishes, clothes, and everything else in cold water. You will still get the vast majority of the cleaning power without taxing your water heater and thus increasing your power bill.
If you do need to run the water hot for certain household tasks, one of the best ways to make use of this is to find something else to use the cold running water for. Fill pitchers, scrub something, or even brush your teeth if you’re going to leave the water running too hot either way.
3) Use Wool Dryer Balls
Dryer balls are little lightweight wool puffballs that you can throw into your dryer. They are incredibly inexpensive and they can reduce the time it takes for clothes to dry, which reduces the amount of electricity you use heating and spinning the drum. Dryer balls also, incidentally, are a great alternative to fabric softener, saving you money in two ways.
4) Adapt Your Thermostat
You don’t need a smart thermostat to save money on heating and cooling. Just a little diligence and smart planning. In the winter, try lowering your thermostat by two or three degrees. It’ll feel colder for a day or two and then your body will adjust and you will save a surprising amount of money. In the summer, do the same only for warmer temperatures. If there’s a big difference between day and night temperatures, try to keep your thermostat as close as possible to the outdoor temperature. A cold house is actually better for sleeping, too.
5) Switch to LEDs and Smart Lights
Incandescent bulbs with the filaments that burn out are fragile, burning hot to the touch, and occasionally explode during thunderstorms. They also eat a ton more electricity per lumen than an LED. While we know you’ve heard the PSAs and flag-waving about how awesome LEDs are, look past the hype for a moment and see the simple economic benefit. LEDs need less power to provide the same amount of light and they last for years longer than an incandescent bulb. They also happen to shine without getting nuclear-hot and never explode in response to a power surge.
Smart lights are even cooler (and more energy efficient) because you can turn them off without having to touch the switch. In fact, you can even turn your smart lights off from your phone after accidentally leaving them on before the morning commute.
6) Unplug Unused Appliances
It sounds like a ghost story, but Phantom Load is real. Phantom load is the electricity your appliances passively eat when they’re supposed to be switched off. If you’re worried about lowering your power bill, this is actually one of the best ways to do it. Fortunately, you don’t have to go around unplugging everything after you’re done using it. A flipping power strip is easier and if you like smart home features, there are smart power outlets that flip themselves off with a word.
7) Go Crazy with Caulk and Weather Stripping
Home temperature efficiency is very important for lowering your power bill. If the hot or cold air leaks out, your AC has to work harder to keep your home comfortable. So one of the best ways to lower that cost is to make your home more energy-efficient. Re-caulking the edges of your windows is a very good place to start, as the panes are loose and leaking air in many older homes.
And for the doors, pick up a roll of weather stripping and redo the lot. This simple and easy change will ensure that your home uses as little electricity on the AC or heater as possible.
8) Run Your Washing Machines Full
When you run a load of dishes or laundry, make sure the machines are completely full. Running a bunch of partial loads can wreak havoc on your power bill as the large appliances run over and over again. Instead, make the best use of each run through the cycles by loading up the machine with the maximum number of well-spaced dishes or dirty clothing.
—Saving on your power bill doesn’t have to be a huge hassle or cost more in materials than you save in a month. With just a few changes to your daily routine and perhaps a few very minor home improvements, you can significantly lower the amount you pay each month for power. Anyone can lower their power bill with efficient appliances, good home practices, and regular maintenance. Contact us today for more useful insights!