You wouldn’t throw your hard-earned money in the trash, would you? That’s essentially what you’re doing when you overlook some simple fixes in your home that can waste your money in terms of energy. Wasted energy translates to a higher electricity bill. Reduce those bills by employing some effective strategies throughout the home to combat the skyrocketing cost of energy. Aside from controlling the thermostat through the seasons, there are other ways to cut down on energy consumption. Try these tips, many of which won’t take much time to implement but that can be real energy savers.
Phantom energy, which occurs when electronics and appliances plugged in throughout your home consume energy even when they’re not on, can do a number on your electric bill. This is also referred to as standby energy loss, and it can contribute to five percent of your home’s electricity use ? when you take into account the entire country, this means that 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity is wasted each year, says the Environmental Resource Center (ERC). When you’re not using them, unplug devices like scanners, treadmills, fax machines, stereos, battery chargers, modems, monitors, coffee makers, DVRs and TVs. If you find this is an inconvenience on a daily basis, at least unplug them when you are headed on vacation.
Seal up the Windows and Doors
Go around your house and caulk your windows and doors, especially right before the winter. Energy leaks most commonly happen here. It’s so subtle you don’t even realize it, but if you take an open flame to one of your windows and the flame flickers or goes out, you have a leak. Seal up all those leaks with a simple tube of caulk and weather stripping. Invest in energy efficient windows, and shut doors and vents to any rooms you don’t use to save on heating and cooling costs.
Change Your Light Bulbs
Forget the standard light bulbs you’ve been wasting your money on whenever they burn out. Instead, invest in Energy Star-rated compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which can save you up to $50 a year on your energy bills, says Energy.gov. Dimmer switches are a great idea so you don’t always have to have the lights on full blast when enjoying the TV, eating dinner or reading. Motion sensors for outdoor lighting only flick on when motion is detected so you don’t have to leave the lights on all night long.
Think Twice About Laundry
Before you start that small load of laundry, think twice. Wait until you have a full load, then start it up. You’ll use less detergent and less water. In the warmer months, dry your clothes on a line outside rather that use the dryer. Invest in a dryer that features a moisture sensor rather than a timer. This will alert you when the clothes are dry so the machine doesn’t have to keep working for nothing. You’ll not only save cash on energy, you’ll also find a difference in the quality of your clothing, with less shrinkage and fading over time.
Simple but effective ways to reduce your electricity bill are all around you. Get creative and see how much money you can save!
This article was contributed by Billy Dunham, a home improvement expert who hopes to help you have an even better home. He recommends taking a look at the great commercial electricity rates from Tara Energy. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!