The average American household usually spends about $200 to $300 every month but to some this is already ridiculous. Especially when most homeowners are not home during the day, so how did the electric bill get this big?
There are actually a lot of reasons that your electric bill is high but there are also ways that could help you cut your energy consumption even up to one-third of what you are currently using. Maybe you will say that you are already doing something to lower your electricity bill yet there are things you’re not aware of that can contribute to its increase.
Ever heard of phantom load or the standby load? This is also known as the vampire power or vampire draw or referred in technical terms as the electrical power consumed by electrical appliances that even when switched off it is still using power in standby mode. Appliances with remote controls like television, air conditioners, garage door openers, digital clocks and the likes consume power even if it is not being used or is turned off, this because technically it is on standby and will spring into action when commanded by their remote controls.
Phantom load in your garage door openers consumes the biggest energy. When you touch the control panel, you will feel that it is warm and has that humming sound. That’s electricity at work and keeps your meter running even if you are not opening or closing it. But don’t fret, there is a solution to this and you don’t have to unplug that opener.
- We suggest you connect it to an off-grid solar energy source. Yes, this will cost you a large initial investment but the long term reward is so worth it. This is even a great DIY project for you since solar panels are so easy to install.
- Another way to save on electricity is to turn off lights and unplug all your appliances when not in use. Also, you may change your old incandescent light bulbs to the more energy efficient LED and the compact fluorescent lights which saves up to 25% of your energy consumption. Keep in mind when you shop for bulbs to choose light fixtures with dimmer, this can give you more savings because you can adjust the brightness you need.
- If you have kids, it would be better to install motion detectors (occupancy sensors) in their rooms that will automatically turn off the lights when nobody is inside the room. With this, the lights will never be left on by accident.
- Putting curtains could also save energy since they help keep the home warm during cold weather and during the summer it can keep the sunlight out.
- Look for the Energy Star. When shopping for appliances, always look for the Energy Star label which means that it has meet the standards of the energy-efficient guidelines. Using appliances in the home with the energy star label cuts electricity bill by 30 percent.
- Keep dryers lint-free. Cleaning out the lint that is stuck in your dryers will let it perform efficiently, using less energy. A clogged lint filter can really reduce the efficiency of your dryer making it use more energy by up to 30 percent. Using the dryer back-to-back without cooling it down between loads can minimize energy consumption since a warm dryer uses less energy. Don’t over dry your clothes, because it will not only use more energy, it will also damage your clothes.
- Install a water heater timer. If you are using the heater only at certain times of the day, having an electronic timer switch will heat the water only when you need it. Don’t forget to check your water tank for sediments, because you might be heating inches thick of sediments before heating the water. You can also wrap your tank with an insulating blanket so that it will stay hot or warm longer.
- Clean and keep it full. The refrigerator uses more electricity than all the kitchen appliances combined. In keeping it energy-efficient, you have to always clean the inside part, also clean the coils at least twice a year. It will improve its efficiency by up to 50 percent. A full fridge can also help keep the electricity bill lower, freezers and refrigerators work better when they are filled. Never place hot food or beverage inside your refrigerator, allow it to cool down. Put ice bags, ice trays and water containers to keep them fill and set the thermostat between 35 to 38 degrees. Do a timely check on the overall condition of your refrigerator, like checking if the rubber seal around its door is already worn out and should be replaced.
- Maintenance of your air conditioner. To keep your air conditioner working perfectly and efficiently, make it habit of doing a regular cleaning, changing the filter, straightening the fins and lubricating its motor. If your air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with a new one bearing an energy star label wills save you up to 30 percent on your energy consumption and maintenance costs.
- Change furnace filter every month. Doing this will guarantee you two benefits, it will make the furnace run efficiently and it will prolong the motor’s life-span. During heating season, label your filter with the month they will be used to help you remember it’s time to change because a clogged filter will make your furnace’s motor work double time, thus using more electricity.
- Seal leaks and cracks. Having cracked windows, doors and a leaky air duct can be a waste of energy. Try using caulk or expanding foam to seal the cracks, this could make your home an energy efficient one and it can help you save money.
- Do not pre-heat your oven unless needed. To avoid wasting electricity, don’t pre-heat the oven if you are only going to use it to heat food and do a simple baking. Try baking with circulating air and use the oven several times while it is still hot. And if possible, use the toaster or the microwave as they use less energy.