Electric bills are getting more expensive every year. While switching electric suppliers might help people save money this is not always an option, especially in smaller communities. There are things you can do around the house to keep your electric bill low.
Closing the curtains and lowering blinds on the sunny side of the house will help keep the house cooler on hot days. In the winter, it will also prevent heat from escaping out of the windows. If you like looking out your windows during the daytime, window film can filter the sun in the summer and dual pane windows will retard heat from escaping in the winter. You can also consider getting outdoor awnings and painting the house a light color to reflect the heat.
Air conditioners are the biggest user of electricity, along with heaters in the winter. A heating and cooling system accounts for more than half of your electric bill. You can increase your heating and cooling system’s efficiency by having annual cleanings, checkups, and changing out the filter every month.
It is also important to keep the greenery trimmed around the air conditioner to allow air to flow efficiently. The less your heating and cooling system has to work, the less electricity it will use.
The US Department of Energy recommends all window air conditioners be placed toward the center of the room on the shady side of the house. They also need to be the right size for the room. If the unit is too small, they will not cool the room efficiently causing them to run more often. If a unit is too big, it will also have reduced efficiency causing higher electric bills, uncomfortable temperature fluctuations, and excessive wear and tear.
Raising or lowering the temperature in your home can save as much as $100 a year. When at work or asleep, turn it up so the air conditioner does not click on as often and conversely turn it down in the winter. A programmable house thermostat is a great option to control the temperature. If your house utilizes a heat pump, it is best to manually set the system to be electrically efficient.
Lastly, replace light bulbs in the house with CFL bulbs, or even LED lights if they come in the correct size for the socket. These bulbs are expensive at first, but worth the investment. A single standard incandescent light bulb can cost the same amount as it costs to run six to ten CFL bulbs, which last ten times longer.