Did you know that the average household in the United States uses about 877 kWh per month of electricity? And that around 55% of it is used for heating and cooling. The rest are for appliances, lighting, and electronics.
Just check your monthly energy bills and see if your usage is close to that nationwide average. If yours is way more than that, then it is probably time to assess how you are actually using electricity in your own household.
You may not be aware of it, but it can be how your house was designed that causes you to use more energy than the normal household. This is especially true for houses built decades ago. Or it can be your behavior that affects how you use electricity. We will get to that later in this article.
So, if you want to make some changes to your house and life to bring down that huge energy bill, here are some ways to do it.
1. Change Your Light Bulbs.
LED light bulbs are the way to go if you want to be energy-efficient. Therefore, spend time checking all your lighting fixtures in case you are still using incandescent bulbs. Did you know that 15 60-watt incandescent bulbs use 900 watts/hour than 15 comparative LED bulbs that use only 150 watts/hour? That is a lot of energy savings on choosing the right light bulb alone!
The good news is that LED bulbs are inexpensive. A quick visit to your local hardware store can immediately help you bring down your electricity bill.
2. Properly Maintain Your AC or Furnace.
Air conditioning systems and furnaces are necessities for many homes in the country. The problem is many homeowners tend to forget to maintain their units. These cannot be set and then forgotten. Regular maintenance is needed, not only to make sure the units are always working but also to save on energy. That’s because an improperly-working one tends to use up more energy than usual.
Schedule your air conditioning system for cleaning and maintenance. Also, schedule a furnace tune-up at least once a year, especially if your furnace is already more than 10 years old.
Also, ease up on your AC use, if that is possible. The U.S. Energy Department suggests setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 26 °C) in the summer. That should be more than enough to keep you comfortable inside the house.
3. Use More Natural Light.
You will not be using much electricity at home if you are letting in more natural light. How to do that? There are many ways to do it.
You can install skylights on your ceiling. It will let in natural light as it acts as a window on your roof.
Install larger windows. Look for Energy Star certified windows, which can help lower your energy bills by an average of 12 percent. There are also Energy Star-rated doors and skylights, so it might be worth your time to consider these options.
Paint your rooms white. Lighter colors reflect more light around the room, lessening the need for artificial lighting. Try to use glossy paints as these are more reflective.
Add large mirrors around the house. These will reflect natural light all over the place.
4. Adjust Your Behavior.
Sometimes changing your daily behaviors inside your house can help save you a great deal of energy. For example, instead of using the dryer, consider hanging up your clothes outside to dry. Do not turn on the AC all around the house; your family can gather in one room and turn the AC there instead.
You can do other things, like taking shorter hot showers, using your dishwasher at full loads, and simply turning down the heat.
5. Plant Trees.
Plant some trees around your house, especially in the spots where they can provide shade to your windows and doors. Trees will not only block harsh sunlight, but these will also lower the air temperature around your house. This, in turn, means easing up the load on your air conditioning system.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, trees strategically planted around a house can help save up to 25 percent of energy. That’s a big chunk off your electricity bill!
Make the Changes Today to Conserve Energy
Whether you are doing it for the environment or helping you save money off your energy bill, making the changes mentioned above really makes perfect sense. As a homeowner, it is only beneficial to you and your family to have an energy-efficient home. You do not have to do everything at one go. Try one, no matter how small the change will be. It’s always the right direction.