Thanks to the pandemic, energy bills have seen a 10% increase in only the second quarter of 2020. Previously, electricity usage in residential areas had been declining due to various factors. These include the increasing use of energy-efficient lighting and appliances and the fact that most people would leave their homes on weekdays to go to work. Now, with many people working from home, households are consuming more energy than before.
Getting those electricity bills may seem close to impossible, but with a few tweaks at home, you’ll be living the energy-efficient lifestyle in no time.
Insulate Your Home
A well-insulated home is also an energy-efficient one. When your home isn’t properly insulated, summer can get extremely hot and winter extremely cold. Proper insulation keeps your home at the right temperature all year round and even helps reduce noise pollution. There are different ways to insulate your home such as weather stripping doors, adding rigid boards to walls, or applying mirror film onto windows. If you’re good with tools, it may even be possible to do it yourself.
Making sure your home is properly insulated helps you avoid having to use additional heating or cooling, allowing you to save more energy.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a great option for those who aren’t fond of constantly adjusting the temperature. While more expensive than a manual unit, the money you save on your electric bill will be worth the investment. Other benefits of programmable thermostats include making zone temperature control more effective and extending your HVAC’s lifespan by decreasing its runtime.
Not only will you save on energy costs, but it’ll save you time and give you more control over your home’s temperature all year round.
Use a Ceiling Fan with Your A/C
The hotter months of the year often have us cranking up the air conditioning to its maximum capacity. Having your A/C on blast for long periods can do some damage to your energy bill and even your unit. Reduce the stress you put on your air conditioning in the summer by adding a ceiling fan. Fans are a cheaper investment compared to air conditioning, and while they don’t directly make a room cooler, they can lower the temperature in a room by circulating the air.
You can even use it with your air conditioner; with your fan on, you’ll be able to raise your thermostat up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit and not feel any difference. With a ceiling fan at home, you’ll find yourself using your air conditioning less.
Change Your Showerhead
Water heating is one of the largest culprits in increased energy consumption. You can reduce your heating costs by fixing leaks, using energy-efficient appliances, or switching your regular showerhead for a low-flow one. Low-flow showerheads ensure that you only use a maximum of 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM) compared to regular showerheads that use anywhere from 5 to 8 GPM. ;
If you’re worried about water pressure, newer versions of low-flow models have fixed initial pressure issues found in older models.
Install a Low-flow Toilet
Traditional toilets use 3.4 gallons of water per flush. Fortunately, toilets also have low-flow alternatives that have smaller tanks and only use 1.6 gallons per flush. For those who live in bigger households, low-flow toilets will significantly lower your energy costs and make your water system more efficient.
Choose Energy-efficient Appliances
You may not be aware that some of your appliances are responsible for high energy consumption at home. This is especially true for older homes that still have their original fixtures and appliances. Older water and heating systems that are more than 15 years old are, in most cases, inefficient. Since you’re likely due for an upgrade, replace your old fixtures with more energy-efficient ones. If you’re not sure how to go about buying energy-efficient appliances, a quick look at Energy Star’s website will help you find the best model for you.
While they tend to be more expensive than regular appliances, you can offset these costs with the amount of money you save on your energy bills.
Use Natural Light
Save money on lighting by switching to LED lights or even adding skylights and larger windows allow more natural light to come in. Not only does it save you on lighting costs, but having more natural light at home increases passive solar gain, making rooms warmer especially during colder months.
At a time when many people are trying to save as much money as they can, going green and transforming your home into an energy-efficient one can help decrease your monthly electric bill.