How high was your electric bill this month? Cooling costs in the summer months and heating costs in the winter can be a strain on your budget, but your year-round energy costs may be higher than they need to be.
It’s not just the weather outside that affects your energy bill. While your usage will likely be higher than average during extremely hot and cold months, there is something else that can drive up your electricity usage: the energy-efficiency of your home. If you want lower electric bills all year, let’s take a look at 10 ways you can lower your energy usage:
1. Set your thermostat
Some people like their home to feel like an icebox, some people prefer it on the warmer side. But whatever your comfort level is in degrees Fahrenheit, the outside temperature may be working against it. When it’s close to 100 degrees outside, setting your air conditioner at 70 degrees may cause it to work harder than setting it at 75 or 78 degrees. Keeping your air conditioner or heater from overworking can decrease your total energy usage.
2. Inspect your home’s insulation
Well-insulated homes can maintain indoor temperatures better than homes without adequate insulation. Having insulation in your attic and/or walls can help the inside of your house stay cool when it’s hot out and retain heat when it’s cold outside.
3. Check windows and doors
Drafty windows and doors may be costing you money every month. Inspect your windows and doors for leaks or gaps, and repair or replace them as necessary. Applying weatherstripping around windows or doors can minimize drafts and keep more of your heated or cooled air inside of your house.
4. Minimize unnecessary use
There may be no need to keep your air conditioner or heater running all day long. Using these appliances less frequently can help you save on electric costs. Consider adjusting the thermostat a few degrees when you’re not home, or cooling/heating only parts of your home with portable units.
5. Use ceiling fans
Ceiling fans can be used to keep a room cooler or warmer, depending on which direction the blades are spinning. For a cool breeze and greater circulation, set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise in the warm months. To keep warm air around, switch your fan to spin clockwise in the colder months.
6. Keep filters clean
Check your air conditioner’s filter regularly, and clean or replace it as recommended. Keeping a clean filter in your AC can help prevent clogs and frozen coils, and can help your machine run more effectively.
7. Keep air conditioners and heaters in good working order
Funny noise coming from the machine? Should that water be leaking there? The longer you’ve had an appliance, the greater chance it may start acting up. Regularly servicing your air conditioner and heater can help prevent any unexpected problems and keep it running at full capacity.
Sometimes these appliances do break, though, and the solution may be to repair the faulty component. Running a broken machine certainly won’t save you any cash, so knowing who to call to have your appliance examined and repaired – and avoiding being hit with a huge bill, can save you a lot of time and money.
And sometimes repairing a unit that’s on its last legs just isn’t cost-effective or energy-efficient. Replacing old or poorly-performing appliances with new, energy-efficient models can have you looking at a lower energy bill each month.
10. Invest in a complete home warranty
When you need to have an air conditioner or heating unit taken care of, having a home warranty can be a big help. At First Premier Home Warranty, we offer repair and service plans for all types of home appliances. Contact us today to learn more about buying a home warranty and saving on your electric costs.