With the world economy tightening, more and more people are searching for reasonable and responsible ways to reduce electric bills both in and out of the home. While some people have taken the drastic steps of installing solar panels on their homes, there are far more basic things you can do each and every day to chip away at your power bill. Over the course of a year, these small savings add up, and you are helping the strain on our overworked energy gird, as well.
Low Energy Light Bulbs
First, for only a few dollars, you can significantly reduce electric bills throughout your home by replacing your existing, old fashioned light bulbs with efficient compact florescent bulbs. Not only do these new bulbs use only a fraction of the energy that traditional light bulbs use, they last up to ten times longer! When environmental groups talk about investing in the future, this is the kind of thing they are talking about. You spend a little extra now, but over the long run, you can save big. Along with replacing your bulbs, you can also save a lot of money by remembering to turn off lights in rooms that arenâ€™t being used and remember to turn off all unnecessary power guzzlers when you head to bed at night.
Adjust Your Water Heater Thermostat
Did you know that up to ten percent of your entire energy bill is devoted to heating water? From our dishwashers to our washing machines to our showers, heating water is a major energy hog, but there are several easy things you can do to reduce electric bills across the board. First, check the heat setting currently on your hot water heater. The setting needs to stay above the 120-degree mark so that nasty and potentially harmful bacteria is kept at bay, but it doesnâ€™t need to be set any higher than that, either. By lowering your hot water heater to the 120-degree mark, you can prevent wasted energy.
Wrap Your Hot Water Heater In Insulation
You can also lower energy bills by wrapping your hot water heater in a layer of insulation. This job only takes a few minutes to do, but it can make a drastic impact on your heating bill. Check with your power company to see exactly how you should wrap your heater so that you can still access the necessary controls. You can also help significantly reduce the amount of hot water you go through in a day by installing a low flow shower head. These types of shower heads have become standard in most homes so you may already be using one and not even know it.
Replace Worn Weather Stripping and Repair Any Leaks
Finally, more energy in our homes leaks out of our windows than any other area. Have a building expert come and see if you are experiencing any leaks, and if you find one, seal it. New windows can be a big expense, but they can lead to years of lower energy bills for your home. If new windows arenâ€™t in the budget, look into adding storm windows instead to help keep heating costs at a minimum.