When it comes to monthly bills, most are fairly cut-and-dry. For instance, your rent or mortgage payment is bound to be the same from month to month. But there's one bill that can fluctuate violently; That bill is your energy bill.
Do you find yourself paying substantial amounts of money for electricity and/or gas? Looking for ways to save on your energy bill? Here are 8 of the best.
1. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
One of the issues with traditional thermostats is that they can't be adjusted unless you adjust them manually. Therefore, if you're not home, your air conditioner or furnace will continue to operate when it's not needed. Simply put, this wastes energy.
Fortunately, there's a way to get around this problem. All you need to do is install a programmable thermostat.
These thermostats can be programmed to turn on and off at given times, ensuring that energy is only used when it needs to be used. They also provide the ability to change temperatures remotely, allowing you to turn the heat down on an unexpectedly hot day, for instance.
Considering that climate control comprises a hefty percentage of a home's total energy usage, a programmable thermostat could go a long way in saving money on energy bills.
2. Wear Less/More Clothing
As was noted above, climate control adds a great deal to a home's total energy usage. As such, by limiting the operation of air conditioners and furnaces, you can reduce your energy bill substantially.
While a programmable thermostat will certainly help to limit HVAC usage, there's a simpler solution: wear more or less clothing. If it's particularly cold outside, you can wear layers and keep the heat down on the thermostat. If it's particularly hot outside, you can wear lighter clothing and turn the air conditioner up on the thermostat.
3. Optimize Insulation
Another way to reduce HVAC use is to optimize the insulation in your home. The more insulated your home is, the less heat and cold it will allow in. As such, your air conditioner and furnace won't have to work as hard as they otherwise would.
There are many different ways to improve the insulation in your home. First, ensure that the insulation within your walls and ceilings is fit. If it's not, it will have to be either replaced or supplemented.
Other things you can do include placing towels at the bottom cracks of your exterior doors, tinting your windows, and planting shrubs in close proximity to your home. How does window tinting reduce heat absorption? Click the link to find out.
4. Replace Your Air Filter Regularly
Your HVAC system's functionality is affected by a variety of factors. One of these factors is dust and debris. The more debris that it and its corresponding air filter take on, the harder it has to work in order to produce the desired effect.
As such, you need to replace your air filter on a regular basis. Changing your air filter consistently keeps residue buildup to a minimum, allowing your HVAC system to operate as efficiently as possible.
Wondering how often you should replace your air filter? Generally speaking, a change every 2 to 3 months will do. However, if you have pets, you should consider making a change monthly.
5. Use Appliances Efficiently
You have to use your appliances. There's no way of getting around washing the dishes or drying your clothes. However, there are ways to optimize their efficiency, thereby consuming less energy.
For instance, you could make sure only to use your dishwasher when it's entirely full. Running a half-full dishwasher will not only waste electricity but water as well.
Another thing you can do is to only open your refrigerator and freezer when something is absolutely needed. Peaking through for 30 seconds at a time can drain quite a bit of cold, forcing these appliances to use substantial amounts of electricity in order to re-chill themselves.
It's also wise to dry loads of laundry back to back. This way, your dryer won't have to re-heat itself throughout the drying process.
6. Turn Down That Water Heater
Another option is to turn down your water heater. By turning down your water heater just a few degrees, you can cut a decent portion off your energy bill.
Typically, water heaters are heated at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you could easily make do with 115 degrees or even 110 degrees.
Leaving the house for a prolonged period of time? If so, you could consider shutting off your water heater entirely. While you won't be using your water heater while you're away, it will still be heating the water that's sitting in your storage tank.
7. Make Use of Cold Water
Though it's common practice to wash clothes in warm or hot water, it's not always necessary. In truth, many pieces of clothing can be washed in cold or lukewarm water. And because cold water is easier on your energy bill, it might actually be the ideal option.
Now, this isn't to say that the energy reduction will be substantial. However, you are likely to shave off at least a few bucks a month.
8. Unplug Appliances That are Scarcely Used
One last option is to unplug any appliances that are scarcely used. If you don't, they will drain energy, regardless of whether or not they're turned on. Some appliances you might consider unplugging include desk lamps, scarcely-used gaming systems and the like.
Note, while this won't save substantial amounts of energy, it's bound to knock off a few bucks every month.
There are All Types of Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill
The tips reviewed above comprise only a few of the ways that you can save energy. In truth, there are all types of ways to save on your energy bill. The key is to get a little creative.
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