We use different appliances and devices in the house daily, almost 24/7 and 365 days a year. Essentially, the house and everything in it constantly run throughout the year.
It’s important to look at how you might be accumulating a hefty energy bill and how to manage it.
Why It’s Important to Boost Energy Savings
In times when money may be a little tight, it’s important to explore avenues where you can save money. The average monthly electricity bill for U.S. residents is $137 per month in 2022. It might seem attainable with an average monthly earning of $4,665, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, it can be harder to gauge and shoulder that.
According to Statista, a wage growth of 6.7% in 2022 is not enough to face the high inflation rates the country is experiencing. There’s also a conversation regarding minimum wage workers who can’t sustain such energy expenses.
Make it a point to generate energy savings. Adopting different practices and installing certain fixtures to lessen the amount of money you have to shell out every month can make a big difference to your wallet by the end of the year.
Having a mindset geared towards energy efficiency can also have other effects. For instance, the environment can benefit from this shift in your lifestyle. Do your part and lower residential greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
How to Make the Home More Energy-Efficient
To make the home more energy efficient, try to look at what you can add, subtract or substitute from your home and daily routine. Certain home additions may require an investment, but they can help boost your energy savings in the long run.
Regarding subtracting, the concept of energy conservation should be at the top of your mind. After all, eliminating what’s deemed as wasteful energy use can bring down your energy bill. It also keeps you mindful when plugging things in.
For substitutes, ask yourself what you can change about your energy use habits. Applying a little more discipline in how you run your household can also impact your energy expenditure.
1. Adopt Renewable Energy
Renewable energy like solar electricity is a sustainable home addition that many property owners want in their households. After all, solar energy is abundant in the U.S. and it can genuinely lower your monthly utility bills.
How big your energy savings will be can depend on several factors, such as the size of your solar energy system. Panels can collect plenty of solar energy when in direct sunlight, but storage is another aspect to consider. Regulating your electricity consumption is also paramount to building up your energy savings in the long run.
2. Change Your Lightbulbs
Lighting is necessary, but it doesn’t have to drain your energy funds. Make the switch from your usual bulbs to LED instead. They’re better for your bill and the impact of LED bulbs on your energy use outweighs the initial expense of buying those lighting options.
Apart from changing your lightbulbs, try to incorporate ways of increasing natural light in your household. Pull back the curtains and let the sunlight seep through during the day instead. If not much light is coming through, look at window cleaning and maintenance options before turning to replacements.
3. Find Energy-Efficient Appliances
Energy-efficient alternatives are also available for everyday appliances you use in your home. Look for an EnergyGuide label indicating a certain model’s yearly electricity consumption. You can also look into smart appliances that regulate your energy use for you.
Water heaters can comprise nearly one quarter of a home’s annual energy output. Because of that, installing a water heater with high efficiency will greatly help you cut down on your costs. An energy-efficient variation can help you with energy and water conservation. Efficient dishwashers and washing machines can also help.
4. Invest in Home Insulation
Water and air leaks are notorious for damaging your home, but they can also affect your energy bills in the long run. These holes can make your HVAC work double-time. Focus on sealing these problem areas and instilling home insulation solutions to add to the home.
Windows are usually a cause for concern, so try to reinforce this area of your home. For instance, use rubber seal protectants as weatherstripping. Adding window insulation film and thermal curtains can also help maintain your home’s temperature.
5. Improve Your HVAC System
Even if your home insulation is top-notch, the HVAC system can still hold back your energy savings. Older HVAC systems surpassing their life span use much more energy for mediocre performance. Consider a possible replacement.
If your heating and cooling systems are still on the newer side, schedule regular maintenance checks and air filter changes. Taking care of your HVAC units is important to ensure that they use the minimum energy they need to run.
Try to look at how you can cope without your HVAC system too. There are summer days when you can simply open the windows and let the wind in. As for winter, bundle up with different clothes and a blanket instead of turning on the heater once a week.
6. Install Surge Protectors
Surge protectors are best known for suppressing any electrical surges in case of a sudden spike. They are perfect for mitigating blackouts and lightning strikes, but they can also combat energy waste.
Surge protectors regulate the energy that you use up. They also have switches that help you cut off the power of certain devices. If you would rather not get this little home addition, focus on unplugging your electrical appliances when they aren’t in use.
7. Make the Most of Your Appliances
During the times that your appliances do have power, try to make the most out of them. Using certain household items for a prolonged period may offer more energy savings than using them over a whole week.
For example, meal prepping ahead of time can keep your stove off for the next few days. Keep the same concept when it comes to laundry or dishwashing. Use those machines in one go instead of doing multiple separate cycles.
8. Steer Clear of Energy Use During Peak Times
Certain utility companies may charge differently for off-peak and on-peak times, so it’s good to be aware of those hours. If you can help it, use energy during the off-peak hours to incur a lower bill or just go manual. For instance, if you need to shred a few vegetables, opt for a knife and cutting board instead of your electric food chopper.
Look into off-peak energy use incentives too. There may be rebates for residents who use electricity during certain times of the day. The National Grid also provides bill credits to residents who charge their electric vehicles outside of peak hours.
Live in an Energy-Efficient Household
A regular home can increase your energy bill, but an energy-efficient household grows your energy savings. Try out the tips above to make your home functional while keeping your monthly costs down.