Winter is coming, and that means energy bills are going to skyrocket. In an effort to save money and help the environment, here’s a few cost-efficient ways you can lower your electricity and heating bills. The best thing about these tips is that any one of them can be completed today, and with little to no financial investment.
1. Research Electricity Rates
The site www.localelectricitycompanies.com lists the rates of local electric providers. By researching these rates and (if needed) switching to a less expensive company, you’re ensuring you pay the absolute lowest amount. You can also view the rates for cleaner burning electricity, and make the switch to a greener company as well.
Considering 40 percent of the energy used in the United States comes from commercial and residential buildings, it’s within your power to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels. If you find that energy-efficient electricity delivery costs too much, you could simply contact the companies providing it and request to be put on a list to be notified when their rates are reduced.
2. Switch to LED or CFL Lightbulbs
Switching to energy-efficient lighting is a cheap way to reduce your bills. By switching to LED or CFL lightbulbs, you’ll save yourself a bundle because these bulbs last 10 to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Moreover, they use 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs.
3. Use Your Fireplace or Purchase a Portable Fireplace
A fireplace is a great and inexpensive way to heat a home, but wood isn’t clean burning. When you burn wood, you’re allowing creosote (tar) and carbon monoxide to pollute the air you breathe. Use fireplace logs instead, such as Java-Logs which are made from recycled coffee grounds. Unless your fireplace is electric or gas-powered, it shouldn’t make an impact on your energy bills.
4. Lower the Temperature
According to Energy Star, 29 percent of your energy usage is going to heating and cooling. Simply turning down the temperature can reduce costs exponentially. Energy Star recommends that you regularly change your air filter, tune up your HVAC equipment, and seal your heating and cooling ducts to save even more money.
5. Think Efficiently when Using Appliances
Appliances account for 13 percent of your energy usage, but using them more efficiently can greatly reduce their impact on your energy bills. For example, wait for a full load before running your dishwasher and clean the lint filter each and every time you run your dryer. If you live in a warmer climate, you can even dry your clothes the old-fashioned way (on a line outdoors).
When you make the choice to be more efficient at home, you’re not just doing a good thing for your family. You’re doing a good thing for the whole planet. The planet needs families that are willing to make greener choices around the house. By reducing your energy consumption, you’re doing your part. It’s enough, and it doesn’t hurt that it saves money by reducing costs too.