The price of electricity is on the rise, which means your electric bill could climb higher and higher. If you’re spending a significant portion of your blow monthly household budget on electricity, it’s time to make some changes. Here’s what you need to do to get a lower electric bill:
How Much Should My Electric Bill Be?
The average cost of electricity varies depending on a number of factors, including:
- Local fuel costs
- Local regulations
- Weather conditions
Because of these factors, the price of electricity can vary from minute-to-minute.
How much should you expect to spend every month? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average monthly electric bill in the U.S. was $117.65 in 2018. This means that households in the U.S. spend an average of $1,411.80 per year on electricity.
What Uses the Most Electricity in the House?
More than 30% of electricity produced in the U.S. is consumed by households. This is because so many appliances, devices, and systems in the average home are powered by electricity.
If you want to lower your monthly utility bill, it’s important to understand what uses the most electricity in your home. The appliances, devices, and systems that consume the most electricity include:
- Heating and cooling system
- Water heater
- Clothes drier
- Space heater
- Electric range
- Light bulbs
The refrigerator and heating and cooling system probably consume the most electricity in your home. Why? The refrigerator is on at all hours of the day, and the heating and cooling system most likely runs for 10-15 hours per day in your home. Because the refrigerator and heating and cooling system are used so often, they consume much more electricity than other devices and appliances.
How Can I Lower My Electric Bill in the Summer?
Electricity bills are usually higher in the summer since most homeowners leave their air conditioners running in order to stay comfortable in the warm weather. But, there are ways to lower your electricity bill without sacrificing your comfort. Follow these tips to lower your electric bill in the summer:
- Use the air conditioner more efficiently
- Close blinds or curtains during the day
- Stay cool with ceiling fans
- Cook outdoors
Use the Air Conditioner More Efficiently
Make an effort to use your air conditioner more efficiently during the summer. Start by installing a programmable thermostat that allows you to preset your cooling schedule. Set the thermostat to automatically turn off during the hours you are at work. This change alone will drastically reduce your electricity use and monthly bill.
You should also maintain your air conditioner to ensure it is as efficient as possible. Set reminders to clean your air vents, replace your air filters, and get your unit serviced. A well-maintained unit will run more efficiently and use less electricity overall.
Close Blinds or Curtains During the Day
The hotter it is inside your home, the harder your air conditioner will have to work to keep you comfortable. For this reason, it’s important to prevent heat from the sun from getting into your home. To do this, simply close the curtains or blinds on your windows during the daylight hours.
Stay Cool With Ceiling Fans
Turn on your ceiling fans to stay cool so you don’t need to rely as heavily on your air conditioner. Fans consume less electricity than air conditioners, so this simple switch will drastically reduce your monthly utility bill.
Kitchen appliances such as the oven, microwave, and stove release heat when they are in use. If you’re cooking with these appliances in the summer, you’re heating up the inside of your home every time you prepare a meal. As a result, the air conditioner will have to work even harder to keep you cool. To prevent this problem, grill outdoors several times a week during the summer.
How Can I Lower My Electric Bill in the Winter?
The weather will start to cool down in the winter, but electricity usage can still remain high in many homes. Follow these tips to lower your electric bill in the winter:
- Adjust the water heater temperature
- Seal air leaks around doors and windows
- Keep the fireplace damper closed
- Use the ceiling fan in reverse
Adjust the Water Heater Temperature
Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You will still have warm water, but your water heater won’t use as much electricity to heat it. This change can reduce your water heating costs by 3-5%.
Seal Air Leaks Around the Doors and Windows
The warm air in your home can seep through small cracks and holes around the doors and windows. If this warm air escapes, your heating system will consume more electricity to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. To reduce your electric bill, fill these small leaks with caulk.
Keep the Fireplace Damper Closed
The warm air inside your home can escape through an open damper, which means you’ll need to spend more money to heat the inside of your home. To prevent this problem, make sure you close the damper whenever the fireplace is not in use.
Use the Ceiling Fan in Reverse
Most people know that ceiling fans can keep them cool, but few are aware that fans can also keep them warm. How? Look for a switch on your ceiling fan that will reverse the rotation of the blades. As the blades rotate in reverse, they will push warm air down towards the ground so you can stay warm throughout the winter.
Watch Your Savings Add Up Month After Month
You don’t need to make major changes or sacrifices in order to save money on your electric bill. Implementing these simple strategies will help you save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and improve the energy efficiency of your home!