Electricity is one of the essential sources of energy in our homes. It makes life easier by providing lighting and running other home appliances and gadgets. However, one thing that is of concern to homeowners is its cost.
A study by Canstar Blue focused on the average annual electricity bill; it showed that a single-person household bill was at $902, a two-person household was at $1,221, while a three-person household ranged at $1,281. A four-person household bill is higher at $1,631. Regardless of the cost, you cannot live without electricity. Therefore, you should have effective means to reduce the electricity bills. If you notice that your bills are too high and are wondering what’s wrong, call an electrician.
8 Tips/Ways to Reduce Electricity Bill
1. Turn off Lights When Not in Use
Cutting down your electricity bill starts with simple habits such as turning off lights when you do not need them. Those few hours that you’re out of your house, your electricity is not being consumed unnecessarily can save you a few dollars in a month.
For instance, if you use a 60-watt bulb, you’ll save approximately .06 kilowatt when your bulb is turned off for an hour.
However, the effectiveness of this method depends on the type of bulb you are using. For instance, incandescent lighting (CFC and halogen) are not the best because 90% of their energy is heat while 10% is light. Therefore, switching them off if not in use would save you a lot. Conversely, LED lighting consumes less energy than incandescent lights.
Always consult with your electrician on the best bulbs or lighting to use and are cost-effective in reducing electricity bills.
2. Buy Energy-efficient Appliances/ Electronics
A study showed that appliances such as electric heaters, refrigerators, televisions, monitors, and ovens use most of the electric energy in a homestead and cost more to operate. Using energy-efficient appliances or electronics and operating them efficiently is a game-changer for someone who wants to reduce electricity bills.
According to Neeeco’s mass save home energy audit, Most modern electronics and home appliances are designed to use less electric power yet function effectively. Their annual operation cost is slightly lower by 9% to 25% compared to the conventional models.
Depending on your budget, you can replace some of your typical appliances and electronics. There are various brands with quality models of these items and are affordable. Consider getting a few electrician quotes of the best energy-efficient appliance from a professional.
NOTE: Appliances with energy star rating labels are the best.
Some energy-efficient appliances are designed with a standby mode; thus, they don’t shut off completely. Therefore, unplugging these electronics from power when not in use is also a feasible strategy to reduce electricity bills.
3. Use More Natural Light
When your house is well lit with natural light during the daytime, you will not need artificial lighting. Sufficient natural lighting is achieved through windows and skylights. Also, the external environment surrounding your house plays a critical role in lighting your house, especially during the spring and summer.
You should ask your electrician to place them on the appropriate side of your roof, depending on what you want to achieve. For instance, skylights allow in more natural light to a room and also heat. Skylights facing east let you enjoy the morning warmth. Those facing the north allow a cool yet constant illumination.
Additionally, skylight windows allow better ventilation into a house. Thus you will not use the air conditioner if it’s not necessary. That will reduce the cost.
Lastly, clean your windows during winter to remove any oils or residue and allow more sunlight into our house. It also allows natural warmth in the same house.
4. Check the Settings on the Appliances
Specific settings on appliances highly affect your power consumption. For instance, according to an energy manager at Harvard University, reducing your monitor’s brightness from 100% to 70% can save up to 20% of the energy consumed. He further advises that using your appliances in energy saving/ eco-setting mode will significantly lower power consumption.
Similarly, more brightness and high volumes on your television mean more watts. Therefore, minimizing both when necessary will contribute to cutting down the electricity bill. It also entails ensuring that you’re not running your refrigerators too low.
5. Regulate your Thermostat
Keeping your thermostat at a constant temperature is only convenient if you are away from your house. However, adjusting it will give you the most benefits and save energy when you’re in the house.
For instance, turning down your thermostat from the normal settings will reduce the energy consumed since the furnace will run less often. Also, it’s worth lowering the temperature of your thermostat at night to at least 8 degrees for about 8 hours while sleeping. It will significantly reduce your electricity bill.
Homeowners can even invest and install better and effective thermostats, i.e., programmable/ smart thermostats in their houses. The great benefit is that you set it according to your weekly schedule, and it automatically turns off or cools down the house when necessary. Also, it has indicators that notify you when the HVAC system has issues and when you need to replace the air filters.
6. Dry your Clothes on Open Air
If there is sunshine, drying your clothes on lines outside your house instead of an electric dryer. It’s one way of reducing the utility cost in your house. Dryers are energy suckers in a home.
Additionally, line drying of clothes promotes energy conservation since it reduces the average household carbon footprint.
The good thing is that clotheslines are of various types, i.e., outdoor clotheslines, indoor clotheslines, and indoor collapsible folding racks.
7. Fix Leaky Ductwork
It’s no surprise that even well-sealed and insulated ducts can leak. That can highly contribute to increased power consumption. Therefore, fixing air leakage and insulation is essential for some who aim to save energy and reduce the bill.
It will also enhance your comfort and safety in the house.
8. Have a Plan of a Yearly HVAC Maintenance
So, how much does an electrician cost? Electricians charge at least $80 per hour or more, depending on the nature of the job and its complexity. Schedule with an electrician when they should inspect your HVAC system.
However, it’s more reasonable to pay for maintenance service and save you from expensive repairs or replacing your HVAC system. Most importantly, it results in lower electricity bills when such a system is functioning perfectly. Check here if you want to know more.
Lessening electric electricity bill expenses start with your habits at home from how you use the appliances to how long you use them. Additionally, switching to energy-efficient electronics is worth it. Lastly, it’s important to prioritize regular repairs and maintenance if you want to ensure all electronics and appliances are functioning perfectly and not consuming excess power.