Bills can take a toll on your personal finances, but electricity bills can be especially painful on your budget. The air conditioning alone can cause a significant uptick in your bills. Add to that dozens of gadgets, entertainment appliances and other tools you use – which automatically consume electricity, even when they should be switched off –and you’re on your way to a monthly money pit.
Luckily, saving money on electricity doesn’t require you to sacrifice your sanity or spend money on green power gadgets. Below are some of the measures you can take to reduce electricity costs:
1. Get the annual air conditioning checkup
The home’s biggest guzzler when it comes to electricity is the air conditioner during the summer season – it can account for as much as 50 percent of the energy bill. Make sure the system runs to its highest efficiency by having annual checkups and cleanups. A rule of thumb to follow is to schedule a service call when setting the clock forward in the spring season.
Additionally, you should also clean and change the filters as well as furnace monthly. Keeping the air flow smooth is good for health (the lungs) and will help maintain efficiency. If you don’t know how to perform this task, take help from the professional who does the annual cleaning for you.
2. Look for local electricity companies
Local electricity companies can supply you the power you need at competitive rates. Electricity is essential for every household and shopping for it should be hassle-free. With comparison websites, you can learn more about the local energy service landscape that defines prices by separating the supply and delivery of electricity in different areas. As deregulation has created a market for REPs (retail electric providers), you can save money as electricity providers compete for your business.
Because of deregulation in most states, the competitive suppliers will offer alternative electricity rates. With such options on the table, you can sort through rates, suppliers, and plans, easy and fast. Examining the options will help you discover the plan that fits your need and budget.
3. Adjust the thermostat and fan
During the summers, every degree you increase the thermostat can reduce the cooling expenses by 10 percent. So set the thermostat for the highest comfortable temperature, and increase it a few degrees before you go for travel or leave for work. Facing trouble remembering to adjust the thermostat? Install a programmable one that modifies the temperature at your predefined times. The cost around $25 and can save you $180 annually.
Live in a humid locality? Then you can reduce humidity in your home by reducing the internal fan speed of the air conditioner. With the slowdown in air movement, the machine will remove more moisture, which will make your house cooler, and reduce the need to run the air conditioner at its peak. If the fan speed can’t be adjusted from the thermostat, you can get a service professional to change it for you.
Apart from following these tips, seal any cracks around the doors and windows, as these increase the need to consume more energy. You can use expanding foam and inexpensive caulk to seal cracks that have been drained your money down the years.