Current climate and fuel costs are subsequently causing an increase in our monthly utility bills. Many customers are researching and learning new methods to conserve energy in hopes of reducing their monthly costs in any way they can. While there is so much information available on the internet, there are reliable and proven methods to help save consumers money.
1- Check Windows and Doors
A great starting point for any household would be to check all of your windows and doors for drafts. Is there any air moving through the seams when they are closed? This is something that could affect the general temperature of the home in both cold and hot months. When those seams aren’t sealed, the home’s thermostat could cause the AC unit to go into overdrive and run continuously. Worst case scenario, this could potentially burn the unit out. Fixing many of the leaks can be relatively simple. A door draft stopper sits at the base of the door and blocks the airflow from under the door where most drafts happen. These are available in many stores or online for just a few dollars. Caulking the seams and cracks around wall outlets and baseboards or replacing the weather stripping around doors and windows are also cost-efficient and easy do-it-yourself upgrades.
2- Install Curtains and Blinds
Another conservation method would be installing curtains or blinds on windows or large glass doors. Reducing the amount of direct or indirect sunlight a room gets can drop the average temperature in that space in just minutes.
3- Switch to LED Bulbs
A simple switch to LED light bulbs would also help reduce average temperatures in the home. An LED bulb emits a fraction of the amount as an iridescent one.
4- Unplug Any Unused Appliances
Though they normally draw just a small amount of energy when not in use, extra appliances and devices such as lamps, coffee makers, and even phone chargers do account for a small total of daily power consumption.
5- Check on AC Unit
Make sure your AC unit is in the best working order it can be. Have your HVAC system maintained by a professional in your area. This could be as simple as just getting the ductwork cleaned, or having a simple routine service done. Making sure your HVAC unit is running at its best can greatly lower utility bills, some as much as 30%.
6- Adjust Water Heater Temperature
Turning down the temperature on your water heater is often overlooked. Just adjusting by a few degrees can allow the water heater to use less electricity. According to the DOE, a ten-degree reduction can save anywhere from three to five percent on running costs per year.
7- Monitor Water Consumption
Finally, watch your water consumption. Numbers vary, but a large percentage of any household’s utility bill can be directly related to the amount of water used. Cold or hot. Try to take shorter showers, and wash clothing in cold or warm water to reduce the amount of water that needs to be heated. Some households that rely on well water use an electric well pump to draw any water used in the house. The less any of these items run, the better for your checkbook.