For many folks, the monthly cost of their electricity bill represents one good area to cut down on costs, especially in homes that use it for heating. Fortunately, you do not have to live in the dark or freeze just to cut your average electric bill by as much as thirty percent. Over the course of a year, that can add up to substantial savings, money that can be used for other things.
Homes that are electrically heated or air-conditioned stand to make the biggest savings on electric bills. An average electric wall heater consumes 1.5 kilowatts (KW) and in a home that is heated or cooled by electricity, space heating accounts for nearly half the total electricity consumed. The next largest percentage is water heating which consumes an average fourteen percent.
Those two items alone represent easy pickings if you are looking to save money on your electricity bill. Lowering the temperature on your home water heater, a safe and easy exercise for all modern models, makes it simple to reduce the amount of electricity you use. Most water heaters are set several degrees higher than necessary to keep scalding-temperature water in the tank at all times.
They are set that way to provide hot water as quickly as possible. However, you can trade off a few extra seconds of waiting time at the sink, by lowering that temperature by five to ten degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so also makes your faucet water safer, since the maximum temperature water it will produce is below the level that will scald. That is especially important with kids around who sometimes are not as careful or experienced with the hot and cold-water controls.
Lowering the amount of electricity used for space heating or cooling is equally easy, and you do not have to suffer by conserving here and there.
In most homes, there are several rooms that are rarely occupied during the day, alternating with others that do not get used at night. At night, with everybody in bedrooms, the home office, living room, kitchen, and, if you have one, laundry room are usually unoccupied.
Simply lower the thermostat for these areas to around 50F in winter and you will find that it takes less electricity to heat them up in the morning than it does to keep them heated all night. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to go on automatically a half hour before waking and you will never know the difference.
Keeping the doors on bedrooms closed will help isolate the two parts of the house at the two different times. Keeping them closed at night prevents the heat from the bedroom escaping, and vice versa during the day. Keep the laundry room and any spare bedrooms closed all the time except for the short periods they are in use.
The same ideas apply to cooling your home as they do to heating. If you use an air conditioner, close off ducts to rooms when they are not in use and keep doors mostly closed.
Obviously, making sure that your home is well insulated is necessary for long-term savings. However, replacing or improving it can be very expensive and the payoff although real accumulates over years. For short-term, high-return savings on your electric bills, look to the things that you can control around the home.