10 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill
For security and safety reasons, as well as energy conservation, timers are a great way to make sure the lights switch on and off like clockwork when you’re not around. For better security, get timers that allow you to randomly vary when lights go on, which makes it harder for burglars to tell when you’re away from home.
Fluorescent bulbs may be more expensive initially, but they are definitely worth the investment. A single standard incandescent light bulb can cost the same to operate as six to 10 fluorescent bulbs—and the fluorescents last about 10 times longer. There are lots of new shapes and types, including attractive compact units that give off a pleasing, soft illumination like traditional bulbs.
Purchase a programmable thermostat. Setting your thermostat a few degrees higher when nobody is home will significantly lower your electricity use. It could also save you up to $180 every year in energy costs, according to ENERGY STAR.
When you use fans, you can raise your thermostat up a few degrees. Although fans don’t cool the air, fans circulate the air and create a breeze to make the room feel just as cool.
Buy energy-efficient appliances.
They use less electricity and less water than their traditional counterparts.
Clean or replace your air conditioning filters every month.
Dirty filters restrict the flow of air and will cause your air conditioner to use more power to cool your home. Ensuring that your filters are clean will reduce electricity and save you money on your average monthly electric bill.
Unplug some of your electronic devices.
This is particularly important for those things that you don’t use a lot such as toaster ovens and chargers (cell phone, mp3, etc.). Anything that is plugged into an outlet is going to use a certain amount of energy, even when those items are not being used.
If you will be out of town for more than a couple days, turn off your water heater.
Be sure to turn off lights when you leave a room.
Installing occupancy sensor switches provide automatic ON/OFF switching of lighting loads for long-term energy savings.
Install shades, awnings or sunscreens on windows facing south and/or west to block summer light. In winter, open shades on sunny days to help warm rooms.