Every month you receive a power bill whether its via the post office or email. Your eyes immediately focus on the “balance due” section as you cross your fingers hoping for good news. But the good news never actually comes. Your bill increases little by little each month and you have no idea why?
Sometimes the smallest adjustments in how you consume energy can really impact your bottom line each month. You may be wasting energy that you’re not even aware of. The following 5 simple rules may just help lower your monthly power bill.
Although a device or appliance may not be in use, it can still consume energy if it’s plugged in. Items such as a toaster oven, microwave, computer, or TV entertainment center still use electricity even when not being used.
If you only use these appliances during particular times of the day, make sure they are unplugged the rest of the time. It’s very common to leave your desktop or laptop computer turned on or in “sleep” mode for convenience, but it’s still adding to your power bill. Make yourself a checklist each morning until turning off unused items becomes habitual.
Setting the temperature in your refrigerator at just the right spot can help reduce your energy bill. It’s recommended that you keep your refrigerator’s temperature between 37 and 40°F and your freezer—if it’s not a stand-alone—set at around 5°F.
It’s also wise to not stuff your refrigerator full of food and containers. Doing so will restrict the air circulation, therefore, making it work harder to keep everything cool. You don’t want your refrigerator working overtime possibly leading to unnecessary maintenance.
If you know the times of day that you won’t be home, look into installing a timer for your thermostat. Maybe you want the AC to kick on at a certain time regardless of the temperature of your home so it’s nice and cool when you arrive.
It’s also a good idea to use a timer for other energy-sucking appliances like your washing machine or dryer. It’s often cheaper to run these machines in the evening rather than during the day. Setting a timer can be a convenient way to make sure you’re being efficient with your energy.
If your home receives plenty of natural sunlight you can certainly save money by not having to use your lights. However, since glass is a poor insulator, heat (sunlight) can leave and enter very easily. If your home naturally gets hot, your AC will work overtime in order to keep things cool. This, of course, uses more energy.
Use blinds on your windows in order to regulate the amount of sunlight that enters your home during the day. Since you also want to take advantage of the natural light, it’s important that you create a nice balance between the amount of sunlight you let in and what you block out.
If some of your larger appliances are using the same energy circuit it’s best to run them separately. If you are taking a shower after a long workout, make sure you aren’t also doing a week’s worth of laundry. Wait until your dishwasher has stopped running before you throw your clothes into the dryer.
This rule may require a little more research to determine if certain appliances are on the same circuit but it could save a little money if you double-check and adjust.
It’s also a good idea not to have too many electrical items plugged into the same outlet or surge protector. A shortage is not only dangerous but can add a little spike to your power bill as well.