Your electric bills can vary from month to month, and certain times of the year (like during the winter or summer) they can almost double—or even triple. Although certain seasons will inevitably bring higher utility bills, there are some simple ways you can lower these expenses:
Carefully look through your monthly statements for errors
If you feel that you’ve done everything you possibly can and your electric bills still seem abnormally high, there’s a possibility that you’re being overcharged for energy usage. Although it’s almost always accidental, it’s not unusual for electric bills to have some mistakes, so be sure to look through your electric bill each month to make sure all of the charges seem right. If you’re unsure about something on your electric bill, contact your service provider.
Heating and cooling
When temperatures are extreme and outside conditions are harsh, it’s a simple explanation for a high electric bill—the majority of any given household’s energy usage comes from heating and/or cooling. One way to lower these costs is by installing ceiling fans throughout your home, which can help keep your home warmer during the winter (be sure that they’re rotating clockwise) and can cool you down in the summer. This is an investment that can pay itself off in no time. Another investment you’ll want to make in your home, if it doesn’t have it already, is proper insulation. Without good insulation, it can be easy for warm or cool air to escape, and your heater/air conditioner will have to work much harder to maintain a good temperature in your home. Keep nice temperatures inside and harsh temperatures outside by ensuring that your home is insulated throughout, and that all windows and doors are properly sealed, and that there are no cracks or holes in the walls.
Unplug what you aren’t using
Appliances that are plugged in will still use up energy, regardless of whether they’re on and in use. If there are things that you always leave plugged in, but that don’t need to be, you might want to consider unplugging them until you need to use them. This includes things like your computer, coffee maker, and so on. The savings might not seem very significant at first, but every little bit helps and will add up over time.
Another way you can reduce your energy usage is by switching out older light bulbs for energy efficient LED bulbs. They cost a lot more money, but the investment is worth it. They last many years and don’t use nearly as much energy as traditional light bulbs. Not only can this help you save money, but you won’t have to worry about changing your light bulbs for a long time. This is especially convenient for those hard-to-reach light fixtures in your home. And of course, always remember to turn off the lights in a room whenever you leave it.
Don’t run completely full laundry and dishwasher loads
It’s a common misconception that completely filling washing machines and dishwashers will actually be more energy efficient than running smaller loads, but in fact, it’s the opposite. Appliances need to work harder when the loads are large, and this means using more energy and higher electric bills. Instead, only fill your dishwasher and washing machine to about 75 percent capacity.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.