Homeowners who check their mail to discover a higher than normal electricity bill may spiral into a financial tailspin. One over-the-top bill can throw the budget out of whack, and, during a time when many homeowners may be tightening the purse strings, a high electricity bill also may leave less money for food or other essentials.
Electric DIY projects that help minimize electricity waste may help homeowners decrease their energy use, live greener and maybe even lower those bills. Unless you’re a professional electrician, please don’t tackle any project that involves wiring or other electrical work that requires a more advanced background. Instead, try these easy ideas for downsizing those kilowatts…and, yes, they are all very simple!
Conduct a Lighting Audit
A lighting audit requires homeowners to go through their house and check all the lightbulbs. Look for old incandescent bulbs; these burn more energy and release more heat. Swap all incandescent bulbs for LED. While LED bulbs are more expensive, they last longer and less energy than their outdated predecessors.
Homeowners also should check to see if lamps are plugged in unnecessarily. Lamps in guest rooms, for example, may be rarely used. Unplug them from the outlets.
Unplug Unused Appliances and Gadgets
While homeowners are checking those outlets, be on the lookout for any gadgets, devices or appliances that remain plugged in despite being unused. Also, turn off power strips when devices aren’t in use. According to a blog from Direct Energy, unplugging all those unused items could save up to $200 each year. Pull the plug on all those energy drains!
Turn Down the Temperature…or Turn it Up!
Is the HVAC running on electricity? One of the easiest ways to save on electricity usage (and cost!) is to adjust the temperature on the thermostat. During winter months, opt for a home temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. During summertime and warmer months, nudge the temp up to 78 degrees.
Many homeowners might like their home warmer in winter or cooler in summer. However, these are the temperature settings that provide optimal energy savings while at home. If homeowners are looking to save, this is one easy way to do it! However, energy savings also means nudging the thermostat by 10 degrees again when homeowners are away or sleeping (during winter…not summer).
For cool months, the Department of Energy presents an even better savings scenario. With a programmable thermostat, homeowners can drop the heat to 56 degrees when they aren’t home or while they sleep. Then the temperature automatically adjusts higher as needed. The savings, per the Department of Energy, are about 10 to 15 percent a year.
Summer time temperatures may need to be adjusted so that the home doesn’t get too humid. This could depend on the climate. However, as the Department of Energy explains: “The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.”
Change Water Habits!
Does the hot water heater run on electricity? Making an effort to change the length of a shower could impact electricity usage and the monthly bill. While homeowners may love a long shower, this uses up hot water and makes the water heater do a bit more work.
Shorten the shower! And make sure to turn off the faucets while brushing teeth or washing hands. Water waste comes in many forms. Turning down the temperature on the hot water heater also could help. Ideally, the temperature should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit (those with certain medical conditions may need warmer settings, though). The Department of Energy explains how to adjust the thermostat. Be sure to turn off the electricity to the hot water heater! And follow all the guidelines.
Conduct a Home Energy Audit
Some electricity drains may be hiding. To find out all the other ways that homeowners can save and amend their electricity usage, conduct a home energy audit. While homeowners could hire a professional for the audit, homeowners also can perform a DIY home energy audit.
Visit every room of the home, look at outlets and powerstrips for any energy waste. Unplug any device or gadget that isn’t in use. Homeowners should look under sinks to check pipes and valves for leaks or drips. HomeSelfe also can help find hidden energy drains. The app can be downloaded for free via Google Play (for Android) or the App Store (Apple). Homeowners will need to take a picture of each room and enter data about energy use. HomeSelfe will identify all the ways to save…and help homeowners find valuable rebates, too!
Homeowners can tackle simple electricity DIY projects to spot and stop energy waste and, hopefully, cut monthly costs. Unplugging appliances, switching light bulbs and even making temperature adjustments to thermostats are all simple projects that homeowners can do. For a deeper look into energy consumption, homeowners can conduct a home energy audit using HomeSelfe to find hidden electric drains…and valuable rebates, too!