If you groan every month when your electric bill arrives, maybe it’s time to rethink some of your home’s electricity usage. Here are some simple and inexpensive changes you can make that can drastically reduce your monthly electric bill at home.
Change Your Bulbs
If you still use traditional incandescent bulbs throughout your home, consider making the switch to another type. Changing the type of light bulbs you use in your home can reduce your energy usage and, in turn, your electric bill. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use about 75% less energy and last about ten times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. A CFL bulb pays for itself in less than a year of use, and then it continues to save electricity and money every month. Replacing fifteen incandescent bulbs with CFLs could save you $50 every year.
Unplug Items You’re Not Using
It’s easy to leave everything plugged in all the time, because then your cell phone charger is always at the ready, you can power up the video games whenever you feel like it, and your guests don’t have to fumble with the TV in the guest room. When appliances, electronics, and chargers are plugged in constantly, they’re continually drawing power, even if the device isn’t in use. A cable box that is turned off but still plugged in will cost an additional $17 per year. Unplugging items not in use, such as an extra TV, that old stereo in the basement, or the video game console that you only pull out twice a year, can save a significant amount of money (on average, $100) on your electric bill every year. Another option is to use light switches that turn power outlets on and off, so you only have to flip one switch instead of unplugging all of the individual items.
Monitor Your Computer
Yes, it does require a small power surge to turn on your computer, but that energy surge is still less than the energy a computer uses when it runs for a long time. Turn off your monitor if you’re not going to use it for twenty minutes, and turn the computer off if you’re not going to use it for two yours. Plug your printer, scanner, and other accessories into a power strip, and switch off the power strip if you’re not going to use those items for an extended period of time.
Be Smart in the Kitchen
The average American home uses 15% of its energy in the kitchen, so making some small changes can create big savings on your electric bill. Turn off the oven five or ten minutes before the recipe is supposed to be done, because the residual heat in the oven will continue to bake the itemjust don’t open the door, or that residual heat will escape. Items that need to bake for at least an hour don’t require preheating the oven. If you’re baking with ceramic or glass pans, you can set the oven 25 degrees cooler than the recipe requires. Keep the burner reflectors clean to promote energy efficiency. Replace any pans with warped bottoms: an electric burner can only heat surfaces when they’re in direct contact, and warped pans require much more energy than pans with flat bottoms. If you’re going to be in the kitchen all day, turn the home thermostat down to compensate for the heat from your oven and stovetop.
These are just a few of the ways to save energy and money in your home.
This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong and Billy Dunham, an avid home improvement and home maintenance blogger who hopes that his blog posts help you get an even better home. They write this on behalf of Smart PrePaid Electric, your number one choice when looking for prepaid electricity services in Texas. Check out their website today and see how they can help you save money!