While there are those of us that prefer six month winters packed with fluffy snow on the slopes, and others than opt for beach volleyball in an endless summer, we can all agree that high utility bills don’t crack our top one million on the list of favorites. Have you ever been the victim of an outrageous energy bill that rivals life’s most costly expenses? For many of you that answer “yes”. These pro tips to wrangle your home utility bill into submission will resonate strongly. There are numerous ways to accomplish this with the help of a modern-day smart home thermostat, energy management systems, and a few household hacks.
Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Perhaps the most obvious of them all is consistent servicing of your major appliances and HVAC system. This should stay top of mind marching into spring and fall. Ensuring that all hardware is tightened, cleaned, and functioning properly, is a fundamental of lowering energy bills. Older appliances and HVAC systems exposed to the normal wear and tear will begin to use energy less efficiently, resulting in higher utility bills.
Identify “energy vampires.” This includes any appliances that use a remote control, have a continuous display, or have an external power supply. All the above suck up precious energy, even when they are turned off. It’s unrealistic to go around an un/re-plug every device in as you’d like to use it. Rather, invest in smart power strip. This will cut off the unnecessary consumption of energy while plugged in devices are “powered off,” and can also be set to turn connected devices on and off automatically.
Utilize Your Smart Thermostat Cost-Effectively
Are you away from home during scheduled hours? Do you typically travel on the weekends? Extended vacation on the horizon? If any of these questions describe your day-to-day, it is well worth the investment of a smart home that allows you to adjust the temperature of your home by setting the regular heating or cooling of your home based on your routine. A major benefit of smart home thermostats and energy management systems is that their cloud-based operating system allows you to manipulate the internal environment, even when you are not physically on-site.
Reduce Your Water Heater Temperature
The default setting of most water heaters is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. By adjusting the temperature, a mere 20 degrees cooler, you may experience savings of up to 10% per year. 120 degrees Fahrenheit is more than enough to keep your showers at a comfortable temperature. Your wallet will thank you later.
Keep Your Refrigerator Full
A fridge stocked to the brim will require less energy to keep at optimal temperatures than an empty one. Additionally, make sure to clean the coils of your refrigerator tri-annually. Dust and debris will cause the coils to heat up and force them to work harder.
Purchase A Device That Monitors Energy Rates
To encourage conservation, some utilities are adopting time-of-use rates, which means that the cost of electricity to you differs based on what time of day you consume it. However, there are devices available that track the rates at which energy is being sold, and provides insight into the optimal times to consume energy in your home. Coupled with a smart home thermostat, you are well on your way to taking economical advantage of predatory rates, and leveraging them to the advantage of lowering your home utility bill.
Reap The Benefits of Solar
This technology is not new, but the price tag can turn some homeowners away. It comes with significant cost, but the return on investment through reduced utility electricity consumption, coupled with net metering regulations and purchase incentives make solar energy a legitimate option to save on your utility bill (in the long-run). If you have a disposable income to invest in home improvement initiatives, be sure to throw solar energy in as one of your considerations.
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