Does your dishwasher work overtime after family dinners and holiday parties?
Is your heater turned on 24/7?
Do you always have phone chargers and game consoles plugged in?
On average, U.S. adults pay more than $1,300 every year for electricity. As a consequence, electric bills eat up to 10% of their income.
Depending on the usage, location, and season, it doesn’t take much time for your electric bill to spiral out of control.
However, if you take certain considerations into account and take the right steps, you can reduce your bill considerably.
Know Your Energy Drainers to Lower Your Electricity Bill
Before you set out to save money on bills, determine your energy drainers – what is eating up most of your energy?
Studies show that heating and cooling account for 47% of your consumed electricity, while appliances, such as dryers, washers, and water heaters use up around 14% of the total energy consumed.
The lighting uses up over 12% of energy whereas smaller appliances – dishwasher, electric oven, refrigerator, and TV take up to 4% of the total energy.
Now that you know which appliances hog up most of the energy, have a certified electrician visit you.
They will inspect your appliances and determine whether repairs or replacements can help you save more money.
Also read: How to Cool an Apartment with One Air Conditioner (AC)
Seal Windows and Doors
An efficient HVAC infrastructure plays a pivotal role in keeping energy costs to a minimum.
But, if there are leaks in your home that are letting out the cold or hot air, your efficiency will be compromised.
To make sure that air doesn’t escape from your home and your system doesn’t have to toil harder, get in touch with an HVAC professional.
They will conduct an inspection to determine whether your doors and windows are causing any leaks.
If you are looking for a DIY fix, then obtain caulk and weather stripping and address the problem yourself.
However, take your landlord’s permission before starting any repair work or else you can find yourself in a spot of bother.
In case, it is established that moisture has been seeping through, experts might recommend you to get your windows replaced, such as by investing in energy-efficient windows.
The energy saved by these repairs would lower your electric bill noticeably. In addition, since windows last almost two decades, you don’t have to harbor any doubts for a long time.
During the winter season or on colder days, apartment temperatures can easily fall below comfortable levels.
To keep their families warm, homeowners rely on heaters (e.g., baseboard, portable, etc) to add a few degrees to the temperature.
Heaters do their job remarkably well, but at the same time, they consume a significant amount of energy.
If you keep them on to maintain heat for longer periods, higher bills would trouble you in the future. That’s why you need to reduce your heat use and look for alternative options to seek warmth.
For instance, if you wear warmer clothes, then you can minimize your heating levels without making any compromises on comfort.
Also read: 7 Easy Ways to Keep Top Floor Apartment Cool in Summer
Get New Shades and Curtains
Window shades and curtains are commonly used by homeowners to keep the heat out of their apartments.
However, as the winter season comes near, they can offer the opposite advantage – keep your home warm.
This is made possible by natural means – the sunlight coming into your home through the windows increases your apartment’s temperature.
With shades and curtains, you can reduce heat by using lighter colors to reflect sunlight and promote cooler temperatures. Similarly, curtains having darker colors absorb the heat.
Home modeling professionals can even recommend shades that absorb heat more readily than the standard ones.
By doing this, you maintain a higher temperature and can avoid costly heating bills.
Turn Off the Lights for Unused Rooms
Often, homeowners are simply careless – letting lights turned on in their empty. This is more of a poor habit where you turn the lights on and leave it as it is without turning it off.
The impact of open lights depends on two factors – electricity cost and the bulb type.
To find how much energy you can save and reduce your electric bill, check how much energy your bulb uses up.
For instance, if a bulb of 40 watts is turned on for one hour, it will consume 0.04 kWh.
If you have seven of these bulbs in your home and they aren’t turned off, then you can imagine the potentially higher energy costs.
Ask the Right Questions From Your Provider
If you live in an apartment, then you are using an electricity provider chosen by your landlord.
What you need to do is to make the most of your electricity plan.
To do this, locate your provider’s bill on the number and ask them the following questions.
- Is there a time in the day/night when electricity is cheaper? This way, you can dedicate this period to run the dishwasher, use the dryer, do laundry, or use any other appliance in the middle of non-peak energy time and save money.
- Is electricity-free at any time? Some plans offer promotions – advertising-free electricity on weekends for a limited time. Such information can help you schedule your electric-powered tasks in your free time and reduce energy expenses.
- Do they provide a free energy audit? Some providers conduct free apartments to minimize energy consumption.
Clean Out the Dryer
Whether you have an electric or gas dryer, its efficiency drops when it has got a clogged lint screen or duct.
At the end of each load, clean the lint screen, while the exhaust duct needs to be cleaned once a year. Electric dryers cost around $90 in electricity annually.
A dryer with a clogged lint screen uses up nearly 30% more electricity.
Dry loads of laundry without taking any breaks, so the dryer remains warm (a cool dryer uses more energy) and use it until the clothes are dry.
Service Your Air Conditioner
The air conditioner is one of your biggest energy drainers. Installing it in the wrong place, such as in the sunlight, can force it to function harder – it uses up 10% more of your electricity.
If you can’t change its place, then you can plant shade trees or tall shrubs. Also, put the window units on your home’s north side.
To take advantage of peak efficiency, get your air conditioner tuned up once every two or three years.
Typically, the HVAC professional examines your air conditioner and refrigerant to determine whether any repair or replacement is required.
If your air conditioner is around 12-15 years old, you will save money in the long run by investing in an Energy Star model.
These latest models don’t only reduce the visits made for air conditioner maintenance, but also cut your cooling costs by 30%.
Replace Outdated Bulbs
If you just moved to a new place, it’s possible that the last tenant had installed incandescent bulbs for all the lights.
Replace these bulbs with energy-saving bulbs. Although incandescent bulbs are cheaper, they have two major issues:
- They have a shorter life span
- They cost more to use
Therefore, choose a modern option, such as compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), known for consuming less electricity. For starters, a 13-watt CFL bulb generates as much light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.
In addition, CFLs have a longer life span. Make sure to take these bulbs with you while moving to another place.
Even when they are fully spent, you can recycle them and get the most out of them.
Get Smart Metering
The implementation of smart metering may vary between utility companies, but the fundamentals are the same. These companies install a smart meter in your home, which monitors and tracks electricity usage.
From the utility company’s perspective, this data is an excellent way to reduce overloading in power grids and prevent blackouts.
As soon as the grid is closer to capacity, it can disable major appliances at the home for brief intervals. But, how does it save money for you?
Since smart meters are beneficial for utility companies, some of them pay you to sign up and get one. Others allow you to check your real-time usage online, empowering you to optimize your electrical consumption.
There are also programs that let you pick “time of use” or “real-time” pricing that helps you pay less for electricity when it is used in off-peak hours.
Smart metering is ideal for those who are mostly away from home, so things can be turned off in your absence without causing any inconvenience.
By following this guide, hopefully, you can lower your electric bill to a significant extent.
Also, keep in mind that these tips assist you in caring for the environment – you are doing your part to make the world more green and eco-friendly.
If you need help to reduce your electricity, get in touch with us, and share your concerns.
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