With electricity costs rising across the country, homeowners and renters alike are looking for ways to cut down on energy usage to save money on utility costs. Electricity prices differ among various regions. Click here to compare electricity companies in Texas to see where your area stands in relation to others. Regardless of how much you pay for electricity, there are many ways you can reduce your usage and lower your bills and your carbon footprint. These tips are easy to implement and won’t require a large investment of time or money.
Replace your light bulbs
Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, use 75 percent less electricity than incandescent light bulbs and last up to six times longer. They also burn cooler, which will help lower your summertime cooling bills.
Seal air leaks
Air leaks in your home reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment and considerably raise your energy costs. Seal around doors and windows with caulk and weather stripping, and use expandable foam caulk to seal around service entrances. Check your ductwork for cracks and loose joints, and seal them with mastic sealant.
Maintain your HVAC systems
Heating and cooling costs account for a large chunk of your energy bills. Keep your furnace and air conditioner clean, and change your air filter when it’s dirty to prevent your systems from working overtime to keep you comfortable. Annual preventive maintenance on your air conditioner and furnace will considerably increase their efficiency to save you money on electricity costs year round.
Plug appliances into power strips
Many small appliances and electrical gadgets, such as coffee makers, computer monitors and VCRs, continue to pull electricity even when they’re turned off. Plug these items into a power strip, and turn off the strip when you’re not using them.
Use your appliances wisely
Operate your dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have a full load. Whenever possible, run these appliances on the shortest cycle. Clean your clothes dryer lint trap before each use to increase its efficiency. Avoid using your oven during the day in the summer, which will heat up your home and make your air conditioner work harder to keep it cool.
Turn on your ceiling fans
In the summer, your ceiling fans make you feel several degrees cooler, allowing you to turn up the thermostat by a few degrees. In the winter, reverse the direction of the blades to push warm air down and increase circulation, allowing you to turn down the thermostat a few degrees.
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