Chillier days are on the way, which means higher energy bills due to heating. But you don’t have to live through a cold winter in an unheated home to save on your electric bill. Here are some easy ways to lower the electric bill this fall and winter.
Let the Sunshine In
Opening your curtains during a winter day is a great way to add some natural light, and heat, to your living space.
The solar gain effect is something that many people forget about when they are trying to lower the electric bill. The more we can open our homes and let the sun in, the less we need to rely on other forms of energy such as gas or electricity.
However, during the evening that same warmth escapes through windows, keeping your home cold and uncomfortable. So, make sure you keep curtains tightly closed during the evening to prevent chilly drafts.
Smart Thermostats are the Wave of the Future
A smart thermostat is a programmable thermostat that connects to your Wi-Fi network. The thermostat connects to your smartphone or other mobile devices. You can adjust the heating even when you’re not home — a great way to save on electric bills.
Smart thermostats can also learn and adapt to your routine. This allows for a set it and forget it method to lower the electric bill.
Reduce Your Energy Costs by Running Appliances During Off-Peak Hours
The peak hours for electricity usage vary by region. Electric companies offer cheaper rates during these hours as they’re quieter, so they have more capacity to handle all the power needed during that period.
If you’re not home during those times, ensure that all your appliances are turned off or unplugged.
Rugs are Perfect for Covering Hardwood or Concrete Floors
Keep your floors comfortable and warm in the winter by adding rugs. Not only do they help reduce energy costs, but they also add a splash of color and style.
Rugs made of natural fibers like wool or cotton hold on to heat. So, when you walk across an area rug, it absorbs some of your body heat and keeps it inside the house instead of letting it escape into the atmosphere.
Cozy up in a Snug Sweater
We all have that favorite sweater that’s perfect for keeping warm in the winter. Try wearing a long-sleeved shirt under your sweater. Layering up is the best way to stay warm while also making it easy to remove a layer if you get too hot.
Change Your Air Filter
You should be routinely checking your furnace or air conditioner’s filter to see if it needs to be replaced. If unsure how often you should change your filter, check with your manufacturer’s instructions or speak to one of our HVAC experts.
A good rule of thumb is to change your air filter twice per year. Once in the spring before you need to keep the AC on and once in the fall before it’s time to make the switch to heating. This ensures your filter is clean and ready during peak HVAC seasons.
Maintain Your Furnace with Regular Tune-Ups
If you want to save money on your energy bills, regular furnace maintenance is one of the most important things you can do. A properly maintained furnace will run more efficiently, and that means lower utility bills. What’s more, a clean and well-maintained furnace is safer and lasts longer than a neglected one.
Ditch the Phantom Loads
Phantom loads are energy-sucking appliances, devices, and chargers plugged in but not turned on. Fact is that phantom loads are the biggest energy hogs in your home.
Unplug devices when they’re not in use. Don’t leave your television or computer monitor plugged in when you’re out of the house. Unplugging these items when they’re not using them saves you money.
Seal Air Leaks Around Windows and Wherever Pipes Enter Your Home
The most obvious place to look for air leaks is around windows and doors. Pipes entering your home through the ground also create air gaps. It’s a good idea to seal these with foam insulation or caulking. But make sure you don’t cover any pipes with exterior siding if they need to be accessible from inside your home.
Use Cold Water for the Laundry
Of course, we all want clean clothes, but there’s no reason why we should have to waste so much energy while washing. Try switching to cold water washes instead of heating water.
Cold water reduces energy bills and uses less water – good for the environment and your electric bill.
Reset Your Water Heater to an Appropriate Temperature
Water heaters use a lot of energy, and high energy results in expensive electric bills. Adjust your water heater’s temperature setting to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. You won’t notice a difference in the water, but you will with your electric bill.
If you have an energy-efficient electric tankless water heater connected directly to your home’s electrical grid, turning it off when not in use is also a good idea.
Want more energy-saving advice for your home? Contact our Southern California heating and HVAC experts for more information.