Published March 04, 2012
The average American family spends over $2000 on electricity bills each year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As utility bills continue to skyrocket, more and more people are seeking out practical methods to reduce their monthly electricity consumption. Luckily, there are a variety of measures you can take to conserve energy and significantly reduce your bill. Here are four easy ways to lower your electricity consumption.
Check your heating/cooling system
According to the EPA, as much as half of all energy spent in the home is used on heating and cooling. By performing a thorough inspection of these systems, you may be able to establish more efficient ways to regulate your home’s temperature. By performing an annual tune-up of your heating and cooling equipment, you can ensure that they are running at maximum efficiency. You may also wish to invest in a programmable thermostat, which can help to regulate your heat use more effectively. Though these systems can sometimes be somewhat costly, they can often help to significantly reduce energy consumption.
Check your insulation
A high electricity bill may not simply be a symptom of faulty heating or cooling equipment. Often, it can happen as result of poor insulation or air circulation around the house. Be sure that there’s nothing obstructing your home furnace ducts, as an obstructed airflow will make it much more difficult to heat your house. The attic is another area of the house where heat can easily escape and, according to the US Department of Energy, it is also one of the easiest to insulate. Fiberglass insulation is relatively inexpensive and can usually be installed without having to hire a professional. Windows and doors account for almost 20 percent of all heat lost from the home, so be sure to seal up and caulk over any cracks you may find.
Use energy efficient bulbs
The easiest way to reduce your electricity bill is by switching from traditional incandescent light bulbs to more energy efficient ones. According to the EPA estimates that by simply replacing the five most used bulbs in your home with approved Energy Star lights, you can save up to $70 per year in electricity costs.
Home appliances account for roughly 13 percent of all energy consumption around the house. Making a few simple changes to the way your use our home appliances can potentially save your hundreds of dollars in annual electricity costs. Refrigerators use a great deal of electricity, so always ensure that yours is running efficiently. Food acts as insulation, and the more of it you’ve got in your fridge and freezer, the less it will take to stay cool, so always keep your shelves fully stocked. Similarly, cleaning your refrigerator’s filter can help it run more efficiently. Other small changes, like using dimmer switches, and choosing to dry your clothes on a line rather than in a dryer are also a great ways to conserve energy and reduce your bills.