If you’ve noticed your energy bill increasing every year, it’s not just you. Energy costs are up across the U.S., both in private homes and businesses.
Retail stores alone have seen a 15% increase in energy costs over the past 10 years. Energy customers living in Hawaii, Florida, and South Carolina pay more for energy, but costs still increased across the board nationally from 2019 to 2020.
While we have to accept that energy prices will continue to fluctuate throughout the year and during different seasons, you can still gain control and reduce your electric bill in 2021. Wondering how to reduce your electric bill? Follow these eight simple — but important — tips around your home or office to keep more money in your pocket, while contributing to a more eco-friendly environment.
When was the last time you changed your air filter? According to the experts, you should change it at least once a month to keep your HVAC in prime condition. HVAC accounts for 25% of your energy bill, and when you regularly change air filters, you can reduce energy use by 15%.
Dirty filters make it harder for your HVAC system to pump air throughout the house, which can lead to higher energy costs. Clean filters mean your system is operating in prime condition, saving more energy and money in the process.
Set an alarm on your phone to change your air filter once a month. Buy a bulk pack of filters and have them at the ready so changing your air filter is a no-brainer.
Ceiling fans help you improve your building’s cooling circulation. While it costs $0.36 an hour to run the AC unit, it costs just $0.01 an hour to run a ceiling fan.
Ceiling fans make your room feel four degrees cooler, which means you can get by setting the AC at a higher temperature. You’ll, therefore, use less of the expensive energy produced by your AC unit and more of the cost-effective ceiling fan’s to stay cool.
But you have to use ceiling fans right.
Only run them when you’re in the room and make sure you adjust the ceiling fan direction seasonally in order to save both money and energy. For example, ceiling fan blades should rotate in a way that produces a cool downward airflow in the warmer months, and there should be no movement when it’s cold outside.
Energy Star is a government-approved program that helps you buy energy-efficient appliances. In plain English, that means if you want to save energy, you should purchase products with the Energy Star seal.
If you replace your home’s five most-used light fixtures with Energy Star-approved fixtures, you can save $75/year on average. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Energy Star rates everything from appliances to electronics, so it’s wise to refer to this unbiased website when buying energy-efficient fixtures throughout your home or business to amass more savings.
Air ducts pump heated or cooled air throughout your building, but if there are gaps or holes in your air ducts, then air is leaking out — which is a very expensive loss. When you’re paying hundreds of dollars to power your HVAC system, make sure that energy doesn’t go to waste by sealing your ducts.
You should check your ductwork for leaks at the start of every new season. You can do this yourself, but it might be best to have a professional seal the ducts for you. Sealed ducts can improve efficiency by up to 20% and even improve indoor air quality. It’s a win-win for your pocketbook and your lungs.
Every building has its energy hogs. But you’ll never know which inefficiencies are costing you the most money until you do a home energy audit.
Go with a professional to audit your home’s energy efficiency. With tools like infrared and gas, they can help you identify leaks and energy-hogging appliances that are negatively impacting your financial health. Once you know where the problems are, you can make adequate adjustments to your routines in order to reduce your energy consumption and lower your electric bill.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drop per second can waste 3,000 gallons of water every year, That high volume of water is the same amount required to take about 180 shower — and it’s all wasted because of a faulty or old faucet. This leakage also causes your water heater to constantly cycle hot water, driving up your energy costs over time.
Fortunately, leaky faucets are an easy fix. If you’re handy, try replacing o-rings and seals to solve the problem. You can also use low-flow fixtures, update your shower-head, or install an aerator to minimize the occurrence of leaks — and lower your electricity usage.
This sounds extreme, but hear us out: by adjusting your AC or heat by 7-10 degrees, you can save 10% a year on your HVAC energy costs. For example, if you kept the heat at 68 degrees in the winter and the AC at 78 in the summer, you could experience significant savings. Setting your thermostat to accommodate when you’re home or away and asleep or awake is a manual job so installing a programmable thermostat can offer considerable help in making these ongoing adjustments.
Are you still using outdated incandescent bulbs in your home? LED light bulbs are the light of the future because they use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. With clear advantages over traditional light sources, modern LED light bulbs offer durability and an enhanced light quality.
While light bulbs don’t use much electricity, the costs can add up given that lights are used all over your home and office. Luckily, LED bulbs are affordable these days and can pay for themselves within a few years. If you want a low-effort and low-cost way to reduce your electric bill, replace the bulbs in your most-used fixtures with LEDs.
Nobody wants to pay high energy bills if they can avoid it. As energy costs rise across the U.S., it’s important to take inventory of your home or business’ energy usage and make some cost-effective and energy-efficient changes in 2021.
While you put in the work to minimize your energy usage, remember that your high bill might not be 100% your fault. Sometimes your utility company charges exorbitant fees for service. Do you really have the best utility company in your area? At EnergyBot, we help homeowners and business owners like you find out.
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