5 home improvements to lower electric bills
How is your household performing in the energy savings department? If your monthly electric bills indicate “not so good,” we suggest making a few simple changes in habits that can help conserve energy and increase electrical efficiency. Doing green laundry during the summer or monitoring electronics usage are two good ideas. Not only does your wallet benefit from these efforts, but the environment does as well.
If you want to try to pocket even more savings, these 5 home improvements tips to help lower your electric bill:
1. Energy efficient systems and appliances
Upgrading your standard appliances to energy efficient models can help with energy consumption. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, as those products are certified to consume less energy than standard ones. Washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, water heaters and fans are all available with this energy saving certification.
Once installed, these appliances cost less to operate than conventional ones. Along with lowering electricity consumption, they reduce water use for increases in efficiency and savings.
2. Programmable or smart thermostats
Regulating your home's temperature is key for lowering your monthly bills. Setting your thermostat back 10-15 percent for about eight hours can help you save as much as 10 percent on your utility bills, according to the Energy Department. Programmable thermostats automate the process, making it easier to manage the temperature of your home.
Using smart thermostats can elevate ease and convenience. You can control the temperature via an app, even if you're away from home. Plus, these thermostats can tell you which temperatures save the most energy.
3. Energy efficient lighting
Standard light bulbs and fixtures can suck up a lot of unnecessary energy, which translates to more money spent each month. Try installing energy saving bulbs and fixtures for significant savings. The Energy Department estimates these green technologies can reduce lighting energy in the average home by 50-75 percent.
Consider installing a lighting control system for the ultimate increase in efficiency. Dimmers, sensors, timers and smart bulbs allow you to manage how much electricity you use, making sure the lights are on only when you need them.
Insulation is an easy, cost-effective way to increase your home's efficiency. Proper insulation can help make sure your HVAC system runs efficiently and can even extend the life of your heating and cooling units. While the attic is top priority, it's a smart decision to insulate as much of your home as possible. That effort includes the basement, crawl spaces, exterior walls, floors and ceilings.
5. Rooftop solar panels
The most efficient way to save money on your utility bills is creating electricity via solar power. Solar panel systems allow you to generate your own electricity rather than paying a utility company. It's healthy for the environment, and it also means you won't have to worry about the inevitable increase in electricity rates year after year. Plus, you may be eligible for tax credits when you use solar energy. Some states also offer rebates or other incentives to help with the costs.
If you can't commit to the rooftop panels, you can take advantage of the sun's energy in smaller ways. Use solar-powered outdoor lights to illuminate your pathways, porch, deck or backyard at night. You can even install solar-powered security lights with motion sensors. Most come with rechargeable battery backs if there isn't enough sunlight to power them.
Being prepared before issues arise is always a good strategy. Plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs. See what plans are available in your area.