We have entered the winter months and when the weather outside becomes frightful, our monthly utility bills do the same. We have put together a helpful guide that can help you reduce the amount of money you’re spending each month on your electricity. These strategies include heating, lighting and powering your home more efficiently while cutting down on the cost associated with each. Being energy efficient isn't just important for cold climates, the average electric bill in Texas can be reduced with these simple steps as well.
Here are 5 tips to saving money on your home electricity bill.
1. Get an Energy Audit done on your Home
For those who don’t know what an energy audit is, it’s an inspection of your home that shares with you ways to shrink your electricity bills. Typically this is done by eliminating unnecessary usage. A basic energy audit will look for air leaks, check installation levels, check light bulb wattages, check and also change filters, if necessary, in your heating and cooling units. All of these things are designed to help shrink your bill, especially during the winter months. Most utility companies actually have energy auditors on their team and they can typically come out to your home for free.
2. Caulk and Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
Not only is caulking and weatherstripping the easiest and cheapest way to reduce energy bills, but it’s something that you can do yourself. By minimizing the amount of outside air that can sneak into your home through the cracks around your doors and windows, it’ll allow your cooling and heating unit to not have to work so hard to perform its job. Typically, you can identify if air is leaking if you place your fingers along a window or door and you can feel air escaping.
There are some HUGE benefits from weatherstripping doors and windows:
- You save money on heating: When cool air is detected by your HVAC system sensor, it has to work harder to make your house warmer which means you use more energy. When more energy is used, the more costly your utility bill will be. Weatherstripping ensures that cold air stays out.
- Save money on new windows and doors: When homeowners see their bills sky-rocketing, they automatically assume that they need new doors and windows. That is not always the case because applying weatherstripping and caulk around your doors and windows will help keep the warm air in. New windows and doors can be very expensive, so before going that route, check to make sure all windows and doors are properly sealed.
- Keeps the warm air in and the cold air out: Stay warm, not only by keeping the cold air out, but by keeping the warm air in. This allows your heating system to rest more and run less, saving on your heating costs.
- Do it yourself: Weatherstripping is easy to apply and relatively inexpensive. The best thing about it is that you can do it yourself and prevent spending money to have it done.
- Summertime benefits: Weatherstripping benefits are evident during colder weather, but the benefits continue into warmer weather by keeping cool air inside. This helps prevent your air conditioner from continuously running which also cuts down on your electric bill.
3. Invest in New Light Bulbs
By investing in LED (light emitting diode) bulbs and getting rid of those CFL (compact fluorescent) lights, you’ll be able to save quite a bit on lighting costs. LED bulbs use less energy than their counterparts.
- The life of a high-powered white LED is projected to have a life span from 35,000 to 50,000 hours, compared to incandescent bulbs that last 750 to 2,000 hours, compact fluorescent bulbs that last 8,000 to 10,000 hours and linear fluorescent bulbs that last 20,0000 to 30,0000 hours.
When utilizing LED light-bulbs, you not only have a long-lasting light-bulb, but you save money by not having to invest in new ones as often compared to other light-bulbs on the market.
4. Attics and Exterior Wall Insulation
It’s a good idea to ensure that there is enough insulation in your attic and exterior walls because, according to Alliance to Save Energy, doing just that can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 30%. Insulation can be relatively cheap and it can be done by yourself. When it comes to the installation of insulation in the exterior walls in your home, it should be done by a professional since it’s much more complicated to do.
5. Install a Digital Thermostat
There is no doubt that heating your home can be very expensive, so why pay for it when you’re not home? You can purchase a digital thermostat from a home improvement store for less than $100 typically. You are able to program the thermostat to decrease the temperature in your house when everyone is away, but then increase the temperature in your home before you and your family return.
According to the Department of Energy, when installing and utilizing a digital thermostat, you can save 10-15% on your heating and cooling bill annually IF you reduce the temperature in your home by 10-15% for at least eight hours a day. For example, if you normally set your heat at 70 degrees when you’re home, program the thermostat to drop to 60 degrees until an hour or so before you arrive home. Earn Extra Cash with VITAL. A VISA credit card that pays you for referrals!
The Nest Thermostat has everything you’re looking for when you’re shopping for the ideal digital thermostat. It has auto-scheduling available which allows the nest to learn the temperatures you like, programming itself, within a week. The Auto-Away feature allows the nest to automatically turn itself off when nobody is home to help save energy. Additionally, the Farsight feature on the Nest spots you from across the room, lighting up and displaying both the time and temperature you have set. You’re able to connect the Nest to Wi-Fi in order to control the temperature from your smart device such as your phone, tablet or laptop. The leaf on the thermostat helps guide you in the right direction to saving energy.
If you don’t want to be shocked when opening the first utility bill of the winter, then try these tips to save a little more green this year. When incorporating some of these items into your cold weather preparation routine, you can save hundreds of dollars a year!