The way that we use electricity in our homes has changed quite a bit over the past two decades. According to a study by the U.S. Energy Administration, the percentage of household energy use from appliances, electronics and lighting, for example, has grown from 24 percent in 1993 to nearly 35 percent in 2013. Likewise, the percentage of electricity consumed by air conditioners increased over the same period. If you’re looking to cut the bill you get from your local electricity provider each month, then take advantage of the following energy saving tips. Addressing the most aggressive sources of electricity consumption in your home is the fastest way to make a visible impact on your utility costs.
“There are plenty of ways to run your appliances more efficiently.”
Tackle lighting first for cost-effective savings
Buying energy efficient bulbs is a quick and easy way to lower energy use, and the investment will pay for itself in a short period of time. However, this strategy does not address other ways that you may be wasting electricity with your lights, according to Energy Star. Failure to utilize natural lighting, for example, is one way that you may be needlessly padding the bill for your electricity provider.
In fact, you can reduce your lighting expenses by up to 40 percent by consistently shutting off the lights in your home when they are not in use. You should also take a closer look at just how many lamps and light bulbs are operating in your home. You may be overlighting a room and subsequently wasting electricity as you do so. Perform a quick sweep of the home and look for spots to consolidate lighting and deploy more efficient bulbs. Taking these extra steps the next time you replace your bulbs is an easy way to eliminate one of the key sources of consumption in your home.
Change habits to reduce consumption by appliances and electronics
Along with lighting, appliances and electronics are the largest draws of electricity in your home. Subsequently, these devices are also two of the largest sources of waste. When it comes to appliances, the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out that there are plenty of ways to run your appliances in a more energy efficient manner. For instance, utilizing high-energy appliances like washers and dryers during the hottest periods of the day ups electricity costs unnecessarily. Be sure not to drag your feet on replacing an aging appliance as well. Inefficient appliances become bigger sources of electricity waste each year.
You’ll need the latest electronics to fully enjoy the entertainment options delivered by your Internet and cable provider, but keep a close eye on devices that consume electricity even after being turned off. Many monitors, game consoles, computers and other electronics must be completely unplugged if you want them to stop using power. A few extra seconds spent unplugging cords after using the entertainment center is all it will take to eliminate a source of electricity waste from your home.
Track down sources of overlooked energy waste
Don’t forget to address inefficiencies plaguing your air conditioner. Cracks and gaps along interior walls and perimeter of your home can allow air to travel freely in and out of the home. Filling these gaps with caulk and weather sealing is a cost-effective way to reduce the amount of work your air conditioner needs to do while it’s up and running. Regularly changing filters throughout the home’s units will limit waste reductions as well. Make your home’s HVAC system more efficient with these tips and reap the benefits on your utility bill each month.