No one likes to face the incredibly high energy bills that arrive in the mail each month, but the truth is, you don't have to. Aside from the obvious, there are many incredible and unique ways to reduce your energy usage and save money throughout the year.
Cold Weather Energy Reduction
Between running your heater and warming up soup on the stove, the cold winter months can wreak havoc on your energy bills. Luckily, reducing your energy usage when the weather is cold is far easier than it may seem. Saving money on your energy bill is as simple as:
- Inspecting Your Furnace: HVAC experts recommend having your furnace checked at least once a year, typically before the cold weather sets in. Servicing your heating unit will allow you to stay ahead of issues while reducing your energy bill at the same time.
- Dressing up Bare Floors: If you love the look of hardwood flooring, you are not alone. Approximately 95% of home buyers prefer hardwood in areas such as the living and dining room. Unfortunately, hardwood and other bare floors can mean cold feet in the winter. Dress up your floors with rugs instead. Rugs provide heat retention, which can help lower your energy bill.
- Opening up Your Vents: It is a common misconception that you can save money by closing off vents in rooms that are unused. However, if you have a forced-air furnace, it is better to leave all of the vents in your home open. Forced-air furnaces are specifically designed to heat a certain amount of square footage. By closing off vents, the heater will work at the same pace, therefore wasting energy.
Warm Weather Energy Reduction
Energy reduction when the weather is warm differs from the tips and tricks applied when the weather is cold. Ways you can reduce your energy usage when the weather is warm include:
- Giving Your AC Unit Space: Air conditioners are more than just a luxury. When heat waves roll in, an AC unit can keep you cool, comfortable, and safe from heat stroke. However, your air conditioner's condenser needs space in order to keep pressurized fluids flowing properly. For that reason, you should keep plantings, such as shrubs, at least 3-feet away from the unit to reduce your energy bill.
- Relying on Solar Power: During the summer months, the sun beats down, which creates an unbearable heat. Fortunately, you can put the sun's rays to use to lower your energy bills with the help of solar power. Solar power can provide your home with enough energy to warm your water, run your appliances, and power your lights.
- Setting Your AC to "On": One common misconception is that setting your AC to an auto setting will help reduce your energy bill. However, the unit will kick on and off when it is on auto, which increases your energy bill. By leaving the fan in the "on" position, you are providing continuous air-flow, which regulates the temperature in your home and saves energy.
While there are tips specific to the time of the year, there are also those that you can apply throughout the year to help save energy, such as:
- Installing a Shower Timer: Large families often mean lots of energy usage, particularly when it comes to shower time. In fact, the average man spends a little more than 62 hours showering in the course of a year, whereas for women it is more than 65 hours. Set a timer and make sure you and your family adhere to it. Speeding up shower time can decrease the amount of energy you use.
- Reducing Appliance Use: Consider using smaller appliances whenever possible, such as a toaster oven, microwave, electric skillet, or a crockpot. Reducing the use of your stovetop and oven can help you save on your energy bill each year.
- Switch Dryer Loads Immediately: By switching out your dryer loads one right after the other, you are able to reduce heat loss. The longer you wait in between drying loads of laundry, the more heat your dryer loses. Instead, make use of the heat still trapped within your dyer to dry your clothes faster and more efficiently.
- Hire a Professional: An energy service professional can evaluate your home and energy usage habits to help you save both money and energy. The professional can offer you plenty more helpful tips and hints that can save you pennies on the dollar compared to the amount of energy you are currently using.
Contact a professional from a company like Energy Service For Less to learn more about the ways you can save on your energy bills. Each of these tips will reduce the amount of anxiety you feel when your next energy bill arrives.