Ever get an energy bill in the mail that makes you want to curse? Trust me; you’re not the only one. With the cost of gas and electric continuing to rise, many residents have found it more challenging to pay their bills. If you’ve ever researched various ways to save on your energy bill, you’ve probably come across things like invest in new appliances, switch your lighting, and so on. While these are all valuable ways to save, if you’re already tight on funds, the investment can really put you out. That doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with high costs, here are some ways to save on your energy bill that won’t cost you a thing (or very little).
Heating and Air Conditioning
There seems to be no time of year where you get a reprieve from your energy costs. In the warmer weather you utilize your ac, while in the colder weather you use your heat. So how can you save in these areas without investing much money?
· Make sure the vents are opened – this might seem a bit crazy, but you’d be surprised to learn that your vents are closed which causes the heat and cooling system to work much harder. Walk around the house and make sure the vents are opened.
· Make sure air filters are cleaned – while you might think that you need an expert to clean your vents and air filters; it’s a job you can pretty much tackle yourself. Removing the dirt and debris allows the heating and cooling system to work on less energy.
· Use fans – during the warmer months instead of pumping your air conditioner up higher you can easily turn it down some and use a fan. Fans can help circulate the cool air making the whole house feel cooler.
Washer and Dryer
If you have a washer and dryer in the home, there are very simple ways that won’t take a lot of effort to save money.
· Use cold water – did you know that heating the water in your washer can consume a great deal of energy? By simply using cold or warm water you save yourself money.
· Air dry – as often as possible, allow your clothes to air dry to cut down on the energy consumed from your dryer.
· Wash smaller loads – a packed washing machine has to work ten times harder to get everything washed. The same goes for dryers. When a dryer is packed to capacity, it limits the amount of space the clothes have to move around. When the clothes can’t move around, you end up having to put them back in as they are still damp.
· Do Laundry After Peak Time – Bankrate.com points out that there is an on and off peak time for energy costs. Select energy companies charge more during a certain time of day. If you can find out when peak time is, avoid doing laundry during that time to save additional money.
As for other household appliances there is one simple rule that will keep your energy rates at an all time low….unplug when not in use. Idle computers, gaming consoles, and other appliances consume energy. Also, even when they’re turned off, energy could be consumed. For this reason, unplugging things that don’t need to be on can save you extra money. To make unplugging things easier, a small investment in some power strips can make turning your appliances off and on a lot faster.
Last but not least an option that won’t cost you a cent to save on your energy bills is to switch service providers. Many states now allow consumers to choose their own energy service provider which could actually save them money. You can easily do a quick online check to find a website that allows you to compare service providers in your area. Comparison shopping allows you to see who offers not the cheapest, but the best value.
Don’t let something like a huge electricity bill keep you down. While you might assume that the only thing you can do is invest in solar panels, go green, update your insulation, or invest in energy saving appliances, there are other options. Many of these options are very affordable or free of charge and simply require a lifestyle change. Hopefully I have helped you to knock a few bucks off your bills going forward. If these options don’t help, consider an energy audit where you can find out exactly what areas of your home need improvement.