Top Tips for Cutting Back on Electricity Usage in The Home
Maintaining a consistent household budget with fluctuating utility bills can be challenging. While homeowners should expect some variations in seasonal electric bills, there are also some practical ways you can cut back on electricity usage. And if you're really looking to save money on yearly electrical costs, contact a local Jacksonville electrician to discuss electrical upgrades that will eventually pay for themselves in utility cost savings.
10 Small Changes You Can Start Today
- Shield your home from the sun by closing blinds or planting shade trees
- Have your AC tuned up before summer to ensure its running efficiently
- Change HVAC air filters regularly to reduce clogged air flow making systems work harder
- Instead of using the dishwasher drying cycle, allow the dishes to air dry
- Opt for fans instead of air conditioning and an extra blanket instead of heat at night
- Keep a steady thermostat temperature range - between 70-74 degrees in summer and winter
- Install dimmer switches to use only as much light as the task requires
- Upgrade your heating and cooling system to the proper size and BTU
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer full - the food acts as an insulator
- Switch to LED lighting which can use up to 90% less energy
Eliminate Electrical Energy Hogs and Drains
Household appliances and your home electronics are a source of electrical energy drain. Even when these items are not being used - they are in stand-by mode or have pilot lights that remain lit, acting as energy vampires and costing you money. The main culprits are TVs, modems, computers, cordless phones, small appliances, and any device with a clock or a black box (transformer) power adapter.Save as much as 5% annually when you plug these devices into a power strip and unplug the entire group when not in use.
Other electrical energy hogs include your dishwasher, stove, refrigerator/freezer, washing machine and dryer. If these appliances are past their prime, replace them with new Energy Star appliances. These appliances include two price tags, the purchase price and the costs to operate. Select the appliance with features that ensure a low operating cost.
Focus on the Big Three Energy Consumers
A home owner can save big money by focusing on the big three electrical consumers in home - lighting, water heating, and refrigeration. These items run most of the day, and in the case of refrigerators - all day and night. If you're still using incandescent light bulbs, then you are throwing away 6 cents every hour for each 10 incandescent light bulbs you use.Switch to CFLs or LEDs and add a timer to switch off portions of your property where lights are prone to be left on by mistake.
Refrigerators will regularly cycle on and off, but they are on approximately 10 hours or more per day and can contribute one dollar per day to your energy bill.Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are not set at temperatures lower than necessary and get rid of that second unit in the basement or garage.
Hot water showers and hot water washing may not seem like a huge cost, but consider that it takes an hour or more to re-heat the water in your tank each time it is depleted. That's about 40 cents each refill, added to the $1 to $2 for each load of hot water laundry and drying.If you shorten your showers and use warm or cold water laundry with air drying, you will notice a drop in your electric bill.
To review your home electrical system to ensure it is configured to properly handle the electrical capacity of your home, contact a reputable Jacksonville electrician. David Gray Electrical Services can help. Contact us to get started.