Nobody likes getting surprised by an enormous electric bill at the end of the month. That’s probably why our customers ask us for home energy savings tips all the time!
Fortunately, we’ve got a few answers. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Control Your Thermostat!
Heating and cooling eat up the largest portion of most people’s energy bill. Often, our ACs continue to run even when we’re not home.
We recommend installing a programmable thermostat. You’re not always going to remember to turn the thermostat down to 60 degrees on mornings when you’re half awake or running late, so a timed thermostat is the perfect solution.
Plus, older thermostats are really imprecise, so you may find yourself constantly increasing your energy output by playing the “too hot, too cold” game as long as you continue to use them.
2. Take a Look at Your Water Heater
Most people’s water heaters are set too hot by default. Check the settings. Turn it down to 120 degrees if you find that it’s set any higher than that.
For maximum energy efficiency, think about calling a plumber to install a tankless water heater. If that’s not in the budget, try wrapping your hot water heater in an insulating fiberglass blanket. This move will save you as much as 9% on your water bill by reducing heat loss.
3. Homes Spring Leaks Too
Check windows, doors, and wall outlets for drafts. They make it harder to control the temperature in your home and derail your efforts with your thermostat.
Weather stripping on the windows, door sweeps on the doors, and foam gaskets behind electrical cover plates will help you take care of the problem.
4. Use Efficient Appliances
Energy Star Appliances keep your appliances from draining your wallet. For even more savings, buy CEE-rated appliances for your home.
There are Energy Star ceiling fans, too. They’re easy to install.
5. Use Dimmer Switches
Dimmer switches are more energy efficient than on-off switches. If you don’t need full-blast lights then you don’t have to use them. They’re also easy to install.
6. Turn Off Your Computer Every Day
This doesn’t just save energy. It also improves the battery life of your laptop.
If you have a laptop that used to have 10 hours of battery life but now has to be plugged in all the time, the culprit may be leaving it on, and plugged in, all the time.
7. Use Smart Power Strips
You could save energy by unplugging your TV, Blu-Ray, Xbox and stereo whenever you’re not using them, too, but we’d have to admit that this would be a real pain. And some of your home entertainment devices, like DVRs and cable boxes, can’t be unplugged if you want them to work right.
Smart power strips are your answer. They can completely power off some devices while leaving others on. The power strip knows when you’ve turned off a device and completely cuts even phantom power loads. Other, designated plugs are specially designed for those devices which are never meant to shut down or shut off.
8. Lighten the Laundry Load
Wash your clothes in cold water. It helps you get stains out, and it saves on hot water heating costs.
Be sure that you’re cleaning the dryer lint screen between uses, too. That way, the dryer doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job.
9. Switch to CFL Bulbs
They last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They also use 75% less energy. And, oddly, occasionally they make you eligible for an Energy Star Rebate. Unless you just hate them for some reason, this is a good buy all around.
10. Your Mother Was Right
Turn off lights when you’re not in the room, and don’t stand there with the fridge door open for long periods of time. These measures really do save money on your power bill!
We are professional electricians in Durham with over 20 years of experience serving the entire Triangle. Call us for all of your electrical needs!