Being a homeowner or renter means paying utility bills. The most important and probably largest of your utility bills is your electric or energy bill.
Not too long ago, our electric bill was almost $400. Honestly, we didn’t give it much thought other than adulting sucks! But, after talking with some of our neighbors, I found out we were paying almost $100-$150 more than other people in our area…CRAZY!
These conversations made me question the amount of energy we were wasting in our household. I also wanted to know how to bring our bill down! So, I did some research and found a ton of ways to save on our energy bill.
So, below is a list of the best ways to conserve energy to save the most money on utilities.
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- 1 1. Adjust your water heater temperature
- 2 2. Slow flow faucets/showerheads
- 3 3. Switch to LED light bulbs
- 4 4. Set your fridge/freezer at the right temperatures
- 5 5. Change your air filters
- 6 6. Adjust your thermostat
- 7 7. Energy-efficient appliances
- 8 8. Annual HVAC maintenance
- 9 9. Turn off your appliances
- 10 10. High-efficiency laundry detergent
- 11 11. Full loads only
- 12 12. Dry on low heat
- 13 13. Dryer balls
- 14 14. Air dry your dishes
- 15 15. Hang dry clothes
- 16 16. Clean your lint filter
- 17 17. Wash in cold water
- 18 18. Even monthly plan
- 19 19. Ask for discounts or incentives
- 20 20. Energy audit
- 21 Conclusion
1. Adjust your water heater temperature
According to energy.gov, water heating makes up 18% of your energy bill each month. Moreover, the average American spends between $400-600 a year on water heating.
So, make sure you don’t have your water heater set unnecessarily high. The recommendation is to set it at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slow flow faucets/showerheads
According to the EPA, installing slow flow or WaterSense showerheads could save the average family up to 2,700 gallons of water per year, which is enough energy to power a house for 11 days!
These showerheads and faucets will decrease the demand on your water heater, which will save you money on energy and water.
3. Switch to LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs and last at least 15 times longer, which can save you approximately $50 throughout its lifetime.
4. Set your fridge/freezer at the right temperatures
Make sure you have your refrigerator and freezer set at the appropriate temperatures to ensure you the most energy efficiency. Energy.gov recommends refrigerator temperatures between 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit and a freezer temp of 0 degrees.
5. Change your air filters
Clean air filters and vents ensure your heating and air units are working efficiently. If your filters are dirty, your heating and air system is working overtime, increasing its energy consumption. So, make sure to check your filters monthly and change them if they are dirty or dusty.
6. Adjust your thermostat
Setting your thermostat back 7-10 degrees from your normal temperature for 8 hours can save you up to 10% on your electric bill. Using a smart thermostat can help you with saving.
Use the app or thermostat to set the times when you are out of your house, so you are not unnecessarily heating or cooling your home while you’re gone. It’s awesome because you can set it and forget and enjoy the savings on your electricity!
Cooling in the Summer
During the summer months, it’s recommended to keep your thermostat set at 78 degrees. This does seem a bit warm, but here are a couple tips to keep it more comfortable…
- Use a fan to help the air feel cooler.
- Keep your blinds shut during the hottest hours of the day.
- Avoid using appliances that give off heat during those hottest times.
Heating in the Winter
During the winter months, keep your thermostat set at 68. A couple tips to keep it more comfortable…
- Layer up! Dress appropriately to stay warm.
- Keep the blinds open during the day to warm up the room.
- Use an electric blanket at night.
- Use a space heater to warm up the room instead of increasing the whole house temperature.
7. Energy-efficient appliances
Older appliances tend to be energy suckers. So, if it’s time to get new appliances, make sure to get energy-efficient products to save the most on your energy bill.
Most appliances have ENERGY STAR approval, which is a government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. These ENERGY STAR approved devices help save money and protect the environment.
8. Annual HVAC maintenance
Be sure to get your heating and air conditioning system serviced annually. If your system is running inefficiently, it can cost you hundreds of dollars in additional energy costs.
Some energy companies may even offer a rebate for having your system serviced, so make sure to check that out as well.
9. Turn off your appliances
Turn your lights and appliances off when they are not in use. Also, unplug unused electronics to avoid phantom energy loss.
Even though you may have your electronics off, if they are plugged into an outlet, they are still consuming energy while off or on standby…this is known as phantom energy.
You can pick up a smart power strip for those electronics (like a TV or computer) that you may want to leave plugged in. A smart power strip works by shutting down the power that goes to your appliances when turned off or on standby. This reduces power usage and decreases your energy bill.
10. High-efficiency laundry detergent
Make sure you are using HE laundry detergent. Using regular laundry detergent causes too many suds, which causes your machine to work harder, trying to rinse them away.
Therefore, if your machine is working harder, your energy consumption is going to be higher. This can also cause your machine to have untimely mechanical problems, which can cost you more money!
Also, make sure you are using the recommended amount of detergent for your loads. Most of us are using way too much detergent (which is wasting even more money).
11. Full loads only
Your dishwasher and washing machine use nearly the same amount of energy no matter what size you wash. So, make sure you’re only washing full loads of laundry and dishes to save the most energy and money.
12. Dry on low heat
Dry your clothes on the low heat setting. You’ll use less energy even if the drying cycle takes a bit longer.
Also, use the automatic setting instead of a timed setting. This way, you are not wasting energy overdrying your clothes.
13. Dryer balls
Using dryer balls helps cut the drying time down by separating the clothes and increasing airflow, which reduces energy use.
Also, dryer balls decrease static, which eliminates the need for dryer sheets….saving you even more money!
14. Air dry your dishes
Air drying your dishes instead of using the heat dry will save on energy use. And if you run the dishwasher overnight, your dishes will be dry by the morning.
15. Hang dry clothes
Consider hang-drying your clothing either on a hanging rack or a retractable clothesline. By doing this, you will eliminate the energy usage of your dryer all together… that’s a good chunk of savings.
16. Clean your lint filter
If your lint trap is full, your dryer has to work harder, which increases the amount of energy it uses. So make sure to check your dryer’s lint filter with every load of laundry you do to keep your dryer working efficiently.
17. Wash in cold water
It really isn’t necessary to wash in hot or warm water. According to energy.gov, just switching to warm water instead of hot water can cut your energy use in half. So, switching to cold water to wash most of your laundry will save you even more.
18. Even monthly plan
Although an even monthly plan won’t really save you money. By switching to an even monthly plan, your energy bill will be the same each month. Which will definitely help with your budgeting.
19. Ask for discounts or incentives
Some energy companies offer incentives or programs where energy costs at certain times are lower (usually at night). So, if you can plan accordingly, you could save more.
20. Energy audit
An energy audit or assessment helps you to learn about your energy consumption and where you can be less wasteful.
According to energy.gov, you can save 5-30% on your energy bill by making energy-efficient upgrades suggested from the audit.
To have a professional come out to do an energy audit, contact your energy company. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, ENERGY STAR offers a free energy assessment you can do yourself.
When I found out that our energy bill was significantly more than other families in the neighborhood, I became more conscious of our energy use. Our bill has since come down, but there are still areas where we can improve.
Most likely, most of us are wasting energy one way or another, and that leads to an increase in our energy bills. So, make sure to do an energy audit, get on an even monthly plan, and put these tips to use and get saving the most on your energy bill.
- New Infographic and Projects to Keep Your Energy Bills Out of Hot Water-https://www.energy.gov
- Residential Energy Efficiency Tips – https://www.georgiapower.com
- Lighting fans/light bulbs-https://www.energystar.gov
- Thermostats- https://www.energy.gov
- How Products Earn Energy Star Label- https://www.energystar.gov
- Laundry Best Practices- https://www.energystar.gov
- 16 Ways To Save Money In The Laundry Room-https://www.energy.gov
- Watersense Showerheads-https://www.epa.gov
- Energy Saver 101 Infographic: Home Energy Audits- https://www.energy.gov