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Owning a home can be quite expensive at times. Between your mortgage, food, insurance and taxes, the cost of a home can be a lot to handle. In addition to that, you also need to worry about the utilities, like electricity and energy. While these costs might not be anything close to your mortgage, they can certainly add up over time.
In fact, the average monthly cost of electricity in the USA is around $110. While some can handle these costs, others are looking for anything they can do to reduce their utilities and save money. Thankfully, there are a variety of different ways to save electricity (and thus money), and this article is going to look at seven of them.
Find the Right Provider
The first key to saving money and electricity is often to find the right provider. Of course, if you live in an area with regulated providers, you might not have that much of a choice. But if you are in a deregulated energy market, you have the freedom to choose your provider. They all provide the same energy, but the rates, terms and plans can generally be different.
If you want to get the lowest electric rate possible, be sure to take time to shop around for the right provider. Be sure to do some research online, and potentially reach out to different options to see which provides the best rate and terms for your needs.
Keep Devices Turned Off or Unplugged When Not in Use
Most of us use a variety of different devices that utilize electricity daily. This includes everything from TVs, to toasters, air conditioners to hair straighteners and everything in between. But when you are done with them be sure to turn them off. If they are left on, they will use a ton of energy and electricity for no reason.
Better yet, consider unplugging them all together to avoid phantom loads, which is the electricity that is consumed by devices when they are powered down. Of course, be sure to keep electrical safety in mind when dealing with cords and cables as well.
Use Energy Efficient Lighting and Appliances
Keeping our home bright and well-lit can often be expensive. A big reason for this is the light bulbs we are using. Instead of using old and traditional incandescent bulbs, why not make the switch to more efficient LEDs? Efficient light bulbs offer several benefits over traditional incandescent options. They can last many times longer, use far less energy, have a softer color and are not much more expensive to buy.
In addition to efficient light bulbs and fixtures, you can also save a ton of energy (and in turn, money) by making the switch to efficient appliances. Everything from your fridge to your dishwasher can be changed to an efficient model. These will operate the same as your current model, only do so using much less energy.
Knowing the difference between different HVAC elements can also be helpful. For instance, do you know what’s the exact difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump?
Ensure the Home is Sealed
Any leaks and cracks in the home can significantly impact your energy and electricity usage. These leaks can let in cold or hot air, which can negate the heating or cooling efforts in your home, which can lead you to use the furnace or AC more than you need.
These leaks and cracks can be anywhere, but are generally around windows or door frames. Be sure to go through your home and look and feel for any potential drafts. If you end up identifying any, be sure to patch or cover them to ensure your home is sealed from the outside environment and weather.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Whether you live somewhere that gets very hot, or somewhere that gets very cold, there will come a time where you need to use your furnace or AC. But doing so too much can lead to a lot of extra costs. If you are constantly tinkering with the temperature or forget to turn the furnace or AC off, you are wasting a lot of energy and electricity.
Instead, consider using a programmable thermostat. These allow you to program your desired temperatures at desired times ahead of time. Your thermostat will automatically change the temperatures at your chosen time, and this way, you will never have to worry about accidentally leaving the heat on. Some can even learn your preferences and be able to automate the heating and cooling of your home.
Be Efficient When Washing Clothes or Dishes
Another way to reduce electricity is to be more efficient when washing your clothes or dishes. Washing machines and dishwashers not only use a lot of water, but also a lot of electricity. If you are using these daily, you are probably wasting more energy than you need.
Instead, wait to run a load until it is full. If you run a half load of laundry or dishes, it still uses a similar amount of water and energy. While this might require a bit of a lifestyle change for some, it has the potential to save you a lot over time.
Use Natural Light
One of the biggest power hogs in most homes are lights. Not only do we use them a lot, but there are plenty of times where we forget to turn them off. This can lead to a lot of wasted power. Instead of using lights all the time, open up those windows and use natural light. This can not only save you money, but natural light is often easier on the eyes as well.
Of course while windows are a great source of natural light, they also have the potential to let cold or hot air in. If you want to keep the heat in your home in the winter, or prevent your home from getting too hot in the summer, covering your windows can often be a good idea.
In conclusion, these are just some of the many options that you can use to save electricity and money around the house.