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There’s nothing worse than getting hit with a ridiculously high electric bill. I remember when I received one for $196 which was nearly double what I was used to paying. From that moment on I swore that I would never allow my bill to get that high again and, sure enough, the next bill came out to be $60 less.
If you’re wondering how to lower your electric bill, here are ten tips to try that are actually reasonable!
The first thing I did after receiving a large bill was snatch everything I could out of the outlets. It’s no secret that electronics that aren’t being used drain power, but it’s easy to leave something like a phone charger plugged in all night.
According to the New York Times, even when devices are off or in sleep mode they use up to 50 large power plants’ worth of electricity. Needless to say, unplug!
Wash with cold water
Washing with cold water could potentially lower your electric bill because it doesn’t require energy to warm the water. Nearly 75-90 percent of the energy used by your washer goes to heating the water so leave the hot water to things like towels and underwear.
Adjust the fridge’s temperature
Ok, so before moving out on my own I was clueless that refrigerators even gave you the option to adjust the temperature. Yes, I know, but when I researched how to lower your electric bill it finally clicked as to why my food was always slightly frozen. ????
Ideally, you want to keep the temperature of your refrigerator between 35° to 38°F, and 0°F for the freezer. Unfortunately, not all refrigerators make this easy since some display the temperatures as a 1 to 5 scale or not at all. Consider purchasing a thermometer so that you can be certain that generic “cold to colder” setting is at a safe temp.
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Adjust your thermostat
When setting your thermostat, aim for a reduced temperature when it’s warm out or an increased temperature when it’s cool out. I normally set my thermostat to 76°F during the summer and 68°F during the winter. I know this is one of the main reasons my electric bill is always less than what I budget for.
If I get too hot or cold, I’ll just adjust my wardrobe or turn on the ceiling fan for a bit. Also, if you know that you’ll be out for most of the day, either increase or decrease the thermostat to avoid heating or cooling an empty home!
Smart thermostats make it really easy to adjust your thermostat from wherever you are and letting them control the climate in the home can potentially save you big time! Honeywell’s WiFi-enabled programmable thermostat comes with Alexa built-in and is less than $200!
Turn off all lights
Were you yelled at as a kid for leaving the lights on? Yea, me too, but this time your parents were on to something.
Leaving on unnecessary lights can make your electric bill creep up past the normal usage, because lights = energy. I once came home to find that my daughter’s closet light had been on all day and, sure enough, my bill was slightly higher.
When you’re moving from room to room, be sure to turn off the lights even when you think that lamp you left on in the living room is no big deal.
More money-saving posts to read!
Switch to LED lights
If you’ve ever gone down an aisle in search of light bulbs then you know there’s a butt-ton of lighting options. Next time, consider using ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs.
LED lights are more efficient than incandescent light bulbs and known for their savings on utility bills. Their energy usage is very low compared to traditional bulbs and they last 15 to 25 times longer. You might notice that they are a bit more pricey, but they’ll pay for themselves with the savings they bring.
Full loads only!
Nothing makes my eye twitch more than a small load. To cut back on energy usage, only run your washing machine when you have a full load of laundry. Same goes for your dishwasher as well!
Air dry clothes
Channel your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and leave your clothes out to dry instead of running your dryer.
I like to air dry my delicate items by hanging them up on my towel rack or laying them over my lawn chair on really hot days. They won’t dry as quickly, but to speed up the process make sure they are wrung out really well.
Purchase smart power strips
Opting to use smart power strips for your appliances and electronics help to lower your electric bill because they can sense when devices aren’t being used and shut the power off. Cool, right?
These also come in handy during storms. My co-worker told me her brand new smart TV got fried after some bad weather and, after spending hundreds to replace it, they switched to a power strip. Turns out these protect your beloved devices from a power shortage, so it didn’t take much convincing to get me to make the switch too.
Replace your A/C filters
Dirty air filters can result in poor airflow, thus requiring more energy from your unit to cool down. Plus, it’s gross and no one wants to inhale unclean air.
According to the Department of US Energy, replacing dirty filters with clean ones can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15 percent. How often these need to be replaced will depend upon the type of filter used in your home, but the general rule-of-thumb is every 30 days.
As you can see, you don’t have to make drastic changes to lower your electric bill. Simply tweaking your everyday routine can result in major savings!