5 Ways to Save Money on Your Home’s Energy Bill This Summer

energy efficient home

As we approach the so-called dog days of summer, when the heat is more intense throughout the country and as a result our electric bills skyrocket, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at your home’s energy consumption and see where changes can be made. Not only will reducing your energy usage help you save money, it can help lessen the strain on our energy providers and create a positive impact on the environment.

There are lots of ways to lower your energy bills but in today’s post, we will review 5 of the easiest and most popular strategies.

1.) Unplug

Even when appliances and electronics are not in use, some may still draw small amounts of electricity through the sockets. If you know you won’t be using your TV, computer, microwave, etc. for a while, simply unplug it.

Make time to unplug yourself, too. In today’s hyper-electronic, screen-absorbed world,  having a “no screens night” can help you reduce your energy usage while also helping you reconnect with your loved ones, enjoy quiet time to yourself or encourage you to do something fun or productive outdoors. Set a timer for a few hours and simply unplug or shut down your TVs, computers, laptops, cell phones, and so on. You might be surprised at how much fun you can have without your devices!

2.) Opt for Energy Efficiency

Choose energy efficient appliances and devices whenever possible. Also make sure you are operating them correctly and efficiently. The U.S. Department of Energy also recommends using advances power strips to reduce “vampire loads,” which are those instances when electricity is wasted when electronics are not in use but still sucking small amounts of energy, adding up to significant costs over time. The U.S. Department of Energy says using these advanced power strips can save up to $100 per year by reducing energy consumption when devices and appliances are idle. These strips are available just about anywhere, but you can easily find them online or through an electronics retail store.

3.) Change Furnace Filters Regularly

You should always replace or clean your furnace filter on a regular and frequent basis. How frequent depends on your home. For an average home without pets, changing the filters every 90 days is likely sufficient. If you live in a home with pets, change them every 30-60 days. Neglecting to change furnace filters allows dust, dander and dirt to accumulate and clog vital parts of your system, causing it to work harder and eventually break down.

To help you remember when to change your furnace filters, set a recurring reminder on your phone or in-home smart device such as Alexa or Google Home. Or, go old-school and simply write it down on a calendar.

4.) Insulate Your Home

A home’s insulation helps it maintain a comfortable temperature without the HVAC system having to continuously work.

Make sure your home is well insulated by inspecting the insulation material in your attic, walls and basement. Use a ruler to measure insulation levels and consult with a home heating and air conditioning professional to see if you need more. While you’re at it, make sure you don’t have any leaks coming from your roof or your basement, as wet insulation is worthless.

Other methods of insulating your home can include sealing gaps and holes around windows, use window dressing such as curtains and blinds, seal gaps and holes in the floor, and use area rugs on hard floors.

5.) Kitchen Tips

The kitchen is arguably one of the most common rooms for energy consumption. The refrigerator is constantly running to keep our food and drinks cold, while the oven, dishwasher and small appliances such as the microwave, toaster, blender and food processor also get regular use. Here are a few simple ways to reduce energy use in the kitchen:

  • Close a dollar bill in the door of your refrigerator. If you can easily pull it out, you’re probably losing cold air and wasting energy. You can fix this by simply replacing the gaskets.
  • Use lids on pots and pans to reduce cooking time and don’t use a large burner for a small pot or pan.
  • Only run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry cycle instead of heat.
  • Use your smaller cooking appliances whenever possible. For example, a microwave, slow cooker or toaster oven can use up to 75% less energy than a large electric oven.

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