Modern life is designed to make energy guzzlers out of every home in the US. Many people try in vain to get the electric bill down, only to find it continues creeping up every month. If your households using more electricity than seems rational, look around for one or more of these five common home energy consumers.
Depending on the size of water heater and the length of your shower, water heaters can be the biggest energy guzzlers in a home.
Much of modern life depends on access to hot water. Your showering, laundry, and even dishwashing all depend on hot running water. Some heating systems also will use hot water. At the end of the month, this can add up to 10-20% of your electric bill.
There are ways to cut back on water heater energy use without suffering or taking cold showers. using a smaller water heater (the smaller the better!) can make a difference. In addition, keeping the thermostat a little lower can save power.
Last, the best way to save money on hot water is to simply use less of it. Take shorter showers, wash your clothing on cold when possible, and keep your eyes open for opportunities to save. Every penny can add up to a few more dollars in your pocket or your savings account.
No one likes to be cold. However, we pay dearly for the toasty warm homes that greet us every day. Heating a home is one of the biggest energy consumers on this list. Depending on where you live and what type of heater you have, you may be using as much as 3500 kilowatt hours a month just staying warm.
Heating your home is probably one of the more necessary expenditures on this list, but there are ways to cut back. If you have an older home, make sure your system is up to modern standards and that your home is well-insulated.
If your home heating is still driving your energy bill into the stratosphere, consider heating just the rooms you’re in while letting the rest of the house get frosty. Heating a smaller amount of space usually costs much less, so the effort (and the cold unusable rooms) are probably be worth it.
Whether you use an internal HVAC system or just a window cooler, there’s a good chance that a great deal of your energy bill goes to keeping your home cool. As average temperatures in the US soar, a growing number of people use air conditioning despite it once being considered a luxury for only the wealthiest homeowners.
The amount of energy used by your air conditioning varies according to the type of unit, your unique weather patterns, and how you use it. Regardless of these factors, there’s a good chance that this one appliance is a huge part of your warm weather energy bill.
How can you save money while keeping your home a livable temperature? Experts suggest keeping your home around 78 degrees, to begin with. Second, make sure that your home is relatively weather-proofed, with good insulation and high quality windows. Last, use the smallest unit that will do the job so you are not paying for a watt more than needed.
Ultimately, saving money on air conditioning will often mean living with slightly warmer temperatures. However, most people can live quite well at 78 degrees and enjoy a healthier energy bill at the end of the month in reward.
People in dryer regions of the country may not be familiar with this appliance, which keeps the air in your home free of moisture. Without a dehumidifier, people in more humid areas may be more prone to allergies and illness due to the overgrowth of mold and mildew. This is especially true in basements and other rooms where dehumidifiers are commonly used.
However, there is no need to pay so much for these handy appliances. Experts recommend raising the humidistat to about 50% humidity, which is low enough to remain healthy but still higher than many people choose. Any lower than this and your unit may be on all the time in some seasons.
In addition, people should shut all inlets to a room when the dehumidifier is on. Dehumidifiers are not intended to strip the entire house of moisture, but rather key areas such as underground rooms and rooms with large numbers of appliances.
Everyone enjoys having cold and sanitary food. However, the price of good health can be high. New refrigerators are more energy efficient than their predecessors but still use approximately 30-200 kWh per month.
An older refrigerator may cost even more, using almost twice as much as newer models. Although most people will not go without a refrigerator in order to save money, there are a few ways to cut this expense back as seen in this video.
Keeping your freezer defrosted, for example, can make a measurable difference on the amount of energy that it uses.
There’s no need to live like the Amish to save money on electricity. Most people can find a few ways to cut back without too much sacrifice. In addition, some of these energy-saving tips (such as insulating well and keeping up to date appliances) will contribute immensely to the value of your home. In summary, use the following tips to save money on your electric bill:
- Adjust your water heater
- Keep your home in good repair, with high quality windows and insulation
- Use newer appliances that have been designed to use less energy
- Use “energy control” settings whenever possible
- Use only as much as you need