How to Save Electricity
21 Ways to Save Electricity at Home
One of the easiest ways to save money is to save electricity at home. The average American spent $117.65 on electricity each month in 2018. Learning how to save money on electricity can put more dollars in your pocket for that new appliance, dream vacation, or your childís education.
Saving on your electric bill isnít hard; it just requires some conscious effort and breaking bad habits. Below, weíve highlighted 21 ways to save electricity and reduce energy consumption.
Turn Off Phantom Power LoadsThink your TV or microwave isn't drawing electricity when you're not using it? Think again. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, potentially 20% of your electric use is due to these "phantom" loads. You should either unplug appliances when not in use or plug them all into a power strip that you can easily flip on or off to save power.
Change Your Furnace FilterIf you don't regularly change your furnace or A/C filter, you could be losing more than air quality. The more clogged the filter gets, the harder the HVAC system has to work to push air through your home, the more electricity the blower uses. Change that filter at least every 90 days to keep costs down.
Use Light DimmersYou don't always need to light up your house like a stadium. Conserve electricity by using dimmable lights when you're watching TV or doing other activities that don't require much light. Dimmable lights are also great for a romantic dinner with that special someone.
Use Solar PowerNo, you don't have to become one with nature and go live in the woods on solar power. However, having a small solar generator or power pack that you occasionally use can help cut down on your electricity bill. For example, if you're hosting a movie marathon at your house one day, you can power your TV with a 1,000-watt solar generator instead of using your utility.
Close Your BlindsDuring the summer, you can save electricity on cooling by blocking the heat from the sun shining through your windows. Pull down the blinds or close the curtains. Your A/C blower will have to run less because it won't be as hot. On the flipside, during winter you can open the curtains or raise the blinds to let in some of that natural heat.
Clean Out Your FridgeIf you have too much food in your refrigerator, it can hinder the efficient distribution of cool air. Store only what you need so the blower doesn't have to work as hard. Also, don't open and stare inside your fridge for 5 minutes. Each year, up to 7% of a refrigerator's energy is wasted by keeping the door open. Know what you want, get it, and shut the door!
Use FansWhile air conditioning costs 36 cents per hour to run, a ceiling fan costs only 1 cent per hour, according to the Department of Energy. Although you can't replace an air conditioner entirely with a ceiling fan, you can generally set the temperature 4 degrees higher than you would need without the fan. During the winter, you should reverse your fan to run clockwise on its lowest setting to push down warmer air and offset heating costs.
Turn off Lights and AppliancesThis one probably sounds like a no-brainer, but how often do you let the TV run when nobody is watching? Many of us can also be careless with leaving lights on when no one is in the room. Be more conscious about shutting appliances down when you're not using them. Also, by turning off unnecessary lighting, you're releasing less heat into the room which can save on cooling.
Wash Clothes in Cold WaterIf you use hot water for laundry, stop. About 75% of the energy involved in laundry goes into heating up the water. Setting your washing machine to 60 degrees fahrenheit and using cold water detergent can save you $60 per year in utility costs, according to a Consumer Reports estimate. In addition, cold water is less damaging to your clothes over time.
Watch Your Electric StoveHave an electric stove? It can be a huge power guzzler if you're not careful. If you can get away with using a microwave for a particular meal, you will use less energy. When that's not possible, save power by not opening the oven door to check on the food (look through the window). Also, turn the oven or stove off a little early each time you cook. There will still be enough residual heat to finish the job without using more power.
Install a Smart ThermostatWhy waste electricity heating or cooling your home when you're not there? Install a smart thermostat that can learn when you're not home to adjust the temperature accordingly. You can even control it from your smart phone to have the home perfectly warm or cool for when you get back from work. Also, make sure it's installed in the right place. You don't want it getting "fooled" into thinking it's warmer or colder than it really is. For example, don't install it in direct sunlight. Otherwise it will constantly think your house is warm and unecessarily turn on the A/C.
Wear LayersSounds basic, but you can save money on electricity used to heat your home during winter by wearing extra layers of clothes. At night, put on extra blankets to stay warm. If you have a smart thermostat, it will know to warm up your house before you get up in the morning to avoid those winter chills.
Switch to LED Light BulbsThe hype behind LED light bulbs is completely justified. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, switching from incandescant to LED bulbs can save you $75 per year in energy costs. LED bulbs also last 25 times longer than their incandescant ancestors, so get on board the savings train and switch to LED lighting.
Install High-Efficiency AppliancesThe high-efficiency appliance market has expanded in recent years as more consumers are trying to save energy. You can now get energy-efficient refrigerators, clothes dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, furnaces, and so much more. Some may be more expensive upfront, but they will save you electricity in the long run and may qualify you for state and/or utility energy rebates.
Unblock Air VentsIf you have furniture blocking your supply or return air vents, you're blocking the efficient movement of heat around your home. During winter that means your furnace needs to run longer to reach the setpoint temperature; during summer your air conditioner works longer. Fortunately, the solution is one of the easiest on this list--move that furniture.
Reduce Screen BrightnessAccording to a test done by a Harvard University employee, reducing your computer screen's brightness from 100% to 70% can save 20% of its energy use. Don't stop at your computer. Try lowering the brightness on your TV as well. You most likely won't notice a huge difference in your ability to see the picture, so it's worth it to save a few dollars.
Clean Your Dryer's Lint TrapRemembering to clean your clothes dryer's lint trap before every load of clothes can improve your machine's efficiency by 75% and save energy. It's a small, easy step that most of us probably do, but it reduces the strain on your dryer and can save electricity.
Insulate Your Home moreDo you have enough insulation in your home? This is especially important in older homes where adding insulation can substantially reduce the amount of heat that escapes through cracks and potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Make sure floor joists, exterior walls, unheated spaces, crawlspaces and any other areas that can leak air are sufficiently insulated.
Put Your Lights on a TimerEver leave your porch lights on all day by accident? If so, you're a candidate for light timers that will automatically turn designated lights on or off on a schedule. You can also get smart lights that you can control from your phone for those times you forgot to turn them off before leaving the house.
Air Dry Your DishesIf you regularly use a dishwasher, use the air-dry setting. Heat-drying uses electricity to create hot air, while air-drying just uses room temperature air and conserves electricity. You can also just leave your dishwasher open overnight so your dishes dry naturally. To really save on your electric bill, pull up those sleeves and do some handwashing!
Get OutsideThe more things you do outside, the less electricity you're using at home. Instead of playing video games, encourage your kids to play in the park. Go on a hike or bike ride instead of sitting in front of the tube for hours on end. You'll save energy and, more importantly, help yourself and your family stay healthy and fit.
We hope these 21 tips to save electricity help you cut down that monthly bill. These tips can also help you save electricity when using a generator during a power outage and let you make the most of power management modules!
If you have other electricity saving tips, we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page!