How To Save Money on Electric Bills - Heating & Cooling
Below you'll find some pretty simple tips on how to save money on electric bills. A few of these tips you may have heard of before and it should go without saying that the more energy we use the higher the electric bill. To save money, your goal is to limit energy use in your home as much as possible...conserve energy. What that means is, sometimes we have to go out of our way to save an extra dollar or two. That could be anything from getting up out of bed at night when you forgot to turn off a light to setting your thermostat higher in the summer to save on cooling costs. If you want to really save on your electric bills, you need to be somewhat willing to compromise.
Save on Cooling Costs
- Your biggest savings from cooling costs can be found right at your thermostat. The closer your thermostat is set to match the outside temperature of your home the more money you will save. If you can set your thermostat around 77-78°F in the summer, you should see a reduction in your next electric bill. If you can manage to set your thermostat even a few degrees higher, all the better.
- If you're going to be sitting or working in one place for any length of time, have a fan blowing towards you to help you feel cooler.
- If your heating and cooling ducts are uninsulated, try to have them insulated as soon as possible. And be sure to check for any leaks at least once a year.
- You can also have a programmable thermostat installed that will help to lower your daily energy use. A programmable thermostat can be set at different temperatures for different times of day. This is very helpful for controlling cooling costs.
- Closing the curtains during the day, when you're not at home, helps to save money on cooling costs.
- Have your air conditioning unit serviced regularly.
Save on Heating Costs
- Pretty much the same principle applies to heating costs in winter as it does to cooling costs in summer. For winter, keep your thermostat on as low a setting as is comfortable. Should you get a chill, you can wear more clothes in winter to make your body feel warmer and drinking warm liquids always seems to help.
- If you live in a rural area and have access to plenty of land with trees, you may want to consider heating with wood.
- Inspect around exterior windows and doors for any cracks that may have developed. If you find any, apply caulking to reseal.
- Be sure you have adequate insulation in your attic. Don't know what the recommended insulation R-Value is for attics in your area? Use this ZIP Code Insulation Program from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Water Heater Savings
- A fair amount of money can be saved annually by lowering the thermostat on your water heater by a few degrees.
- Install a water heater blanket on your water heater to help prevent heat loss.
- Make sure you don't have any water leaks, especially from the hot water lines.
- Insulate approximately 6 feet of the water lines that enter and exit the hot water heater to help prevent heat loss.
- Maintain the efficiency of your water heater by draining about a gallon of water from the bottom of the water heater tank several times a year. This helps to prevent any buildup of sediment.