With the rise in the prices of everything ranging from household items to gas, there is a need to save every little thing you can. Savings are important to have a secure and comfortable future. While the importance of savings has been highlighted for centuries, saving has become increasingly difficult because of the rising inflation and lower wages. Also, the unforgiving heat and long cold winters keeps us in need of a heater or an air conditioner. These are no longer luxury but a necessity.
The electricity bills with their huge numbers leave people with no scope for saving. Not only are you harming your pockets by spending so much on electricity and other energies, you’re also harming the environment. It is high time that we start saving the environment and also save some money that would have otherwise gone in the bills. Here are seven ways to lower your energy bills:
1. Switch Off
The easiest and extremely efficient way is to simply switch off appliances when not needed. This might make you think it won’t make a big difference, but once you start doing this you will realize how many appliances were costing you money. A lot of appliances like toaster, water heater, television, Xboxes and even fridge, take a whole lot of energy when not being in use. Some appliances use energy even when switched off. Make it a habit to unplug the appliances, especially the heavy ones. The simple rule is: don’t use the electricity when you’re not using it. If you don’t want to do this daily thing, just switch to energy saving plugs. This is probably the smartest way to conserve electricity without spending much money. Just make sure the next time you use a toaster or sandwich maker, unplug it. Before going to sleep, make sure all of the huge appliances are unplugged from the main switch.
2. External Wall Insulation
This is a very efficient and effective way to conserve energy and reduce the electricity bills where there are extremely cold winters. During winters, almost every household uses heaters to heat up their house. You might have noticed even when your house is warm; your walls are still cold. This is usually found in houses built before the 1920s. The solid brick walls are not very good at keeping in the heat. This means you spend a lot of money on those heaters and their bill. External insulation is basically attaching these insulations to the outside wall of your house with several protective layers and finishing off with a decorative or renders finish. You will also be helping the environment by reducing carbon emission. At the same time, external wall insulation can cut up your heating bills by 40%. You can be investing in this and saving a ton of money during those long harsh winters. There are also grants from the government available in several places.
3. Switch Off Your Lights
This way of saving energy needs to be added to your daily habits. How often do you leave a room with its lights, air conditioner, or the heater on, only to return back after several hours? The electricity consumed by these huge appliances is wasted in those long hours when they were serving no purpose. We also have the habit of leaving a number of bulbs, garage lights and unnecessary porch lights switched on. This little change in our daily lifestyle can reduce your bill by a huge amount. It might seem like a small change, but once you start doing it, you will realize how negligent you were with your lights and fans. Try to switch off your lights when you leave a room. Switch off your air conditioner when you know you won’t be back in the room for another hour. Porch lights may make your house and lane look beautiful but they are an unnecessary increase in your bill. Save energy by changing a habit!
4. Solar Panels
This is the most effective way to save you from those huge electricity bills. Solar panels do call for a large investment in the beginning but are extremely cheap in the long run. This is perfect for those who are planning to live in the same house for quite some time. The life of a solar panel is more than 25 years which means you won’t have the additional maintenance charges. This also means you will be saving ten thousands of dollars over this period of time. The value of your house also goes up by 3% if you have solar panels installed. You will be saving around 50% on your electricity bill while also reducing carbon emission. There are also solar leasing options in several areas, which mean you save even more by leasing instead of buying. The average middle-class family saves 600 dollars in the solar leasing program. This is the most efficient way to save and go green at the same time.
5. Change Your Bulbs
There was a time when there was only one type of bulb available in your hardware store. But times have changed and with it, our options for light bulbs have increased. We now have LEDs and CFLs in the market. While LEDs initially were expensive and not in general use, CFLs were said to be the energy saving light bulbs, better than the old traditional one. But now the costs of LEDs have gone so low that you can get one for 8 dollars on Amazon. IKEA also sells its own LEDs for as low as five dollars. LEDs are also very long lasting with their life ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 hours. The LEDs don’t contain any amount of mercury which makes them better for us and our environment. The smart move to save our electricity bills would be to change your CFLs and old light bulbs into the energy saving, long lasting and greener LEDs.
6. Too Cold, Too Warm
Humans always have had the power to adapt to the environment. We’ve become extremely lazy to the changes of the environment. The easiest way to save electricity would be raising the thermostat of your air conditioner. We have often cooled our rooms way more than our bodies can take. Don’t cool your room to the point your feet freezes and don’t heat them up too much during winters that you can practically roam around in shorts. Use your heaters and ACs as much as it is needed. You can use just a fan when it is not that cold. Similarly, you can switch off your fans when your AC is ON to save one of the energy. Opening your windows in the early morning during summers helps to keep your house cool. This will help you to cut down on your bill. You should also maintain and service your ACs so that they run efficiently.
You will need to do a lot of cost comparing and benefits to save through this way. But that does not mean that this does not save your money and energy. Upgrading your appliances may help to reduce your electricity bills and energy. Most of the modern appliances are energy conscious and use a lower energy from the old ones. Most of the television, fridges, and computers can be upgraded for energy star appliances which are better in quality and more energy efficient. You will have to compare the cost of replacing heavy appliances and would probably require a lot of brain jamming. You might realize how much your old freezer in the garage or your old age fridge is costing you. It will be better and smart to buy new ones. You also get a whole lot of new features and who doesn’t want that!
It is not easy to make all these changes in a day or so. But little steps and a lifestyle change will ensure you that you can save thousands of dollars in these ways. If that is not pleasing enough, you are also saving the environment your share of the torture. Electricity bills are never going to come down and the global warming is going to change weathers to the extreme. It is better that you turn into a smarter and green resident.