How to Reduce Energy Bills Throughout the Year

Friday, September 7, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

For every family, an important part of a balanced, healthy budget is eliminating waste. The energy bill presents tons of opportunities to save, which not only puts money back in your pocket but also provides the satisfaction of reducing your carbon footprint.

Effective energy-saving strategies change based on the seasons. What works in spring will be utterly inefficient during winter. It’s important, therefore, to tailor your habits to suit the time of year.

How to Reduce Energy Bills Throughout the Year
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  • Spring and Summer

    Fair weather and lots of sun makes spring a good month to turn off the air conditioner and get ready for the warmer summer months. Open the windows as much as possible and take this time to have your air conditioner maintained for the warmer summer days. You want your A/C working at peak efficiency. Make sure all the vents are open and dusted.

    For summer energy conservation, give your A/C a hand by planting trees around the home, specifically around windows and doors. The shade can lower the temperature in the house and prevent your A/C from working too hard.

    Use fans to help move air around the house, keeping the internal temperature as even as possible. The flow of air from fans also brings down the house’s internal temperature, so turn the A/C up as much as you can stand and still be comfortable. Try to avoid activities that tax the cool air in the home, like cooking with the oven, until the sun is down. Grilling is an excellent way to avoid taxing your A/C.

    Another good way to bust the heat is to take cooler showers. Even a few degrees cooler reduces the workload for your water heater and can provide a pick-me-up when it’s gross outside.

    There’s more light in spring and summer; make use of that by using your home’s lighting as little as possible.

    Keeping an eye on your energy consumption can even help during travel. Road trip by renting an energy-efficient vehicle, or for families that RV, outfit your camper with solar panels, solar-powered appliances like ovens, or wind generators.

  • Fall and Winter

    Fall features the return of cool weather, giving your A/C (and energy bill) a much-needed break. Open up the windows again, and enjoy the crisp air before winter ushers in the need for heating. Since evening falls earlier and earlier, take this time to replace light bulbs with energy-efficient lights, such as LEDs.

    Fall is also a good time to service the heater and maintain the vents. Look for places where the fall chill creeps into your home to maintain your insulation.

    Doors and windows are frequent culprits for chill. Reinforce insulation around drafty windows, replace with double-paned windows, or cover them with plastic.

    Wintertime is all about using less heat and containing the heat in your home.

    Dressing warmer at home can decrease the amount of heat needed to keep you warm, as can nesting in blankets while you sleep or watch TV. Supplemental heat methods, like the fireplace or space heaters, are another excellent way to help out the heater in your home, so it doesn’t have to work as hard.

    During the holidays, use LED lights instead of traditional incandescent bulb lights to decorate — you’ll still put your Christmas spirit on display but at a greatly reduced energy cost. Likewise, projection lights or changing your regular lawn lights to colored bulbs can add a little festivity without sacrificing your energy bill.

  • Handy Tips for Year-Round Energy Savings

    Some energy reduction tips work year-round. Here are a few to keep in mind:

    • Check with your energy company to see if they offer discounted rates at certain times of the day or if they have any programs in place to help you cut down your bill.

    • Make sure you load your washer/dryer and dishwasher efficiently.

    • Look into solar energy. Solar energy can drastically reduce your bill. In some places you can produce enough solar to be self-sufficient, and even sell your extra energy back to your energy company.

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