If you are struggling with high energy bills, you are probably wondering what you can do. Maybe you have already installed extra insulation and sealed up your doors and windows. Perhaps you have even tested your furnace and had it upgraded to be more efficient.
Now that you have made those significant upgrades, you may be wondering if there is anything else you can do to lower your energy costs even further. Fortunately, the answer is yes. Here are four simple and relatively painless things you can do right now to make your home more energy-efficient and drive down the cost of heating and cooling your property.
#1. Set the Right Temperature
Setting the right temperature is an essential part of heating and cooling your home. That does not mean you have to boil in the summer and freeze in the winter. It just means setting your thermostat at a comfortable temperature and then leaving it alone.
The best way to do that is with a programmable thermostat. Once the thermostat is in place, you can easily set the right temperature and keep your home comfortable year-round. Programmable thermostats are inexpensive to buy and simple to install, so there is no reason not to have one.
#2. Invest in Smart Power Strips
So-called vampire electronics can suck down a lot of power, so now is the time to slay them. Things like chargers and power strips that stay plugged in all the time can waste a lot of electricity, and a lot of money, so why not upgrade to smart power strips instead?
Smart power strips sense whether or not your electronics are plugged in and go into sleep mode when nothing is connected. These power strips cost a bit more upfront, but the energy savings make them more than worthwhile.
#3. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Buying a brand new refrigerator or stove may not make sense purely from an energy-saving viewpoint. Still, if you are getting ready to upgrade anyway, you should always choose the most energy-efficient model you can find.
If your old appliances are working fine, it probably makes sense to keep them until they reach the end of their lives. When that happens, however, buying the most energy-efficient model on the market is the best way to save money in the long run.
#4. Explore Off-Peak Rates
Check with your energy supplier to see if they offer lower rates for off-peak hours - typically in the evenings and on weekends. If so, merely shifting energy-heavy tasks like washing dishes and running the clothes dryer to off-peak hours could save you a lot of money.
To see how much you are saving, monitor your electric bill, and track your kilowatt usage for a couple of months. You may be surprised at how much you can save simply by making a few simple changes to your routine. Setting the dishwasher to run in the overnight hours or drying a load of laundry just before bed could dramatically cut your electric bills.
There are big things you can do to save energy, like adding an extra layer of insulation to your home. Then there are the small things, like switching to off-peak usage and adjusting the temperature on your thermostat. The four actions listed above can lower your energy costs and put more money back in your pocket.