Inflation is impacting everybody, and utility costs are on the rise. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your consumption habits and explore opportunities to keep costs low.
Lowering energy costs can be accomplished through a few simple upgrades and habit changes. Here are five tips for cutting your electricity costs and keeping some money in the bank.
Investigate Flickering Lights
Flickering lights aren’t a sign of ghosts, but they could be an omen that something is going wrong in your electrical system. If your lights flicker when you flush the toilet or turn on the microwave, it indicates that your wiring or panel isn’t optimized for your home. This issue could be related to previous renovations or upgraded appliances in an older home.
Rather than ignoring or accepting this issue, book a home electrical repair service to determine the cause and offer improvement suggestions. If your panel or wiring is struggling to keep up, it’s likely putting using more power than necessary to operate your home. Finding and correcting the root of this issue could save you hundreds in energy costs.
Use Power Strips
Speaking of ghosts, phantom power consumption is another issue to watch for. Your electronics turn on with the click of a button. This is because energy is always flowing and readily available. In other words, you’re paying for on-demand electricity, even when the electronics aren’t in use.
Using power strips allows you to turn off all unused electronics and cut the power at the source. You can also unplug individual electronics and appliances, though this can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
Block Heat Loss and Gain
Experts surmise that your windows could be responsible for 25-30% of your home heating or cooling bill. Fortunately, it’s easy to offset these costs and prevent heat loss or gain. Thermal curtains can block cold winter drafts and heat from the summer sun to minimize stress on your HVAC system. You can also use window sealing kits or thermal film to help with this process.
Use or Avoid Residual Heat
Your oven is another heat source that could help or hinder your energy consumption. Try to avoid using your oven in the summer, opting for the outdoor grill, a toaster oven, or microwave to minimize residual heat that offsets your air conditioning. In the winter, leave the oven door open after cooking to distribute the residual heat and offset heating costs.
Mind the Water
We tend to think of water consumption as a separate issue from energy consumption, but there is an overlap in costs. Many homes use electricity to pump water through the pipes to your faucets and toilet (unless you’re on a municipal system). That means you use electricity every time you turn on the water. Furthermore, if you’re using hot water, you’re paying for electricity to heat it and keep it warm.
You can cut water-related energy costs by shortening your showers, having cooler showers, turning the water off while brushing your teeth, and only doing laundry in cold water when you have a full load.
Changing your consumption habits and adding a few home upgrades can help you minimize your energy consumption and costs in a challenging economy.