Saving electricity has got to be one of the easiest ways to save money around the house every month. When you really know what you’re doing, you can actually save hundreds of dollars a year without even noticing it. You don’t have to let go of any particular usage and can continue using your existing appliances in the same way you normally would. It’s only a matter of knowing how to optimize your appliances (and home) for the top efficiency level so that they don’t use more electricity than they need to.
It doesn’t take any special knowledge or anything like that. No training or expertise required. In fact, by the end of this article, you’ll know enough that you should be able to reduce your electricity bill by 20% or more monthly. If that sounds good, then continue reading to learn the tricks of the trade about how to save electricity.
First, you need to know that your home must be setup for efficiency before all else. That means insulation and air leaks for starters. Poor insulation and leaky spots can make your central air or heating have to work a lot more during the summer or winter to regulate the internal temperature of your home. So getting a home energy audit is a must. You’ll get all those points checked and know what (if anything) needs to be fixed or corrected. Once they are fixed, you should already be able to expect some savings in your monthly bill (especially in the summer and winter months).
After your home is optimized, you’ll next need to work on the individual appliances. You’ll go from appliance to appliance making changes as necessary to get the most performance for the least electricity. We’ll start with the a/c.
First, routine maintenance is a must. Keeping the filter clean will help the a/c to work more smoothly and easily. Not to mention improve your home’s air quality. Next, install the following 2 devices: an electric saver and a programmable thermostat. The electric saver will work to reduce the amount of electricity that gets wasted by the a/c (it’s more than you’d think), and the programmable thermostat should come with energy saving settings that will allow you to run your a/c in the most optimal way.
Next comes the water heater. You’ll want to wrap it with an extra layer of insulation (you can get it from the home improvement store) and start wrapping it and the connecting pipes. This will trap the heat inside and make it work with fewer heating cycles. Next, you’ll want to ensure that it isn’t heating the water too hot. About 115 degrees is good and if it’s too high, then you’ll need to adjust the settings (consult the manual as it’s a bit tricky). Finally, you’ll want to limit your hot water usage by not using hot water to clean clothes or dishes. Given the efficacy of modern soaps and detergents, you don’t need the hot water, really. It’s just a waste of electricity.
Now we’ll address the fridge. For this one, start by cleaning the underside and back. This will make the coils and air intake/output work easier and use less electricity. Next, adjust the internal temperature so that it’s only as cold as it needs to be. 40 degrees for the fridge and 30 for the freezer is good enough so don’t set it colder than that.
For your TV, first adjust the brightness settings so that it isn’t overly bright. The brighter the TV is, the more electricity it is using, so turn it down as low as you can while still being able to view it comfortably. Next, unplug it when not in use.
Actually, unplug all your appliances that you aren’t using. This will reduce the electrical waste known as “phantom charge”, where electricity is seemingly consumed by appliances that are off, yet still plugged in. It’s a small amount of power, but it helps all the same.
Finally, round out your electricity saving campaign by using natural light during the day, switching to LED bulbs, using the toaster oven instead of the regular oven when you can, and closing a/c vents going to rooms that don’t need to be cooled.
Doing all of that should get you some great results. You should see about 15 to 25 percent savings if you do all of the above. So good luck and happy saving!