6 Easy (and 1 Dumb) Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill
Let’s face it.
Every household is looking for ways to lower their monthly electric bill.
Well…we’ve done our own in-house testing, spoken to experts in the field and have come up with five easy shmeezy, super smart ways to lower your electric bill:
Switch to LED light bulbs
Maintain your HVAC system
Install energy efficient windows
Install window treatments
Insulate your home
(Looking for the one dumb way? It’s at the end of the article.)
Switch to LED Light Bulbs.
One of the easiest ways to save money is by switching the light bulbs in your home from the standard incandescent, or CFL, to LED.
Thomas Edison’s bulbs having been illuminating most of our world for over 100 years. However, they are extremely inefficient. Most of the energy in the bulb is heat not light. Plus, their average lifespan is 1,500 hours.
A CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) is four times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, boasting a 10,000-15,000 hour lifespan. Nevertheless there is a small amount of mercury in these bulbs, which is a concern to some people. We have found these bulbs pose minor risk if broken. If cleaned up properly, a broken CFL light bulb is nothing to worry about.
LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs are by far the most efficient way to reduce your electric bill.
They have a lifespan of 25,000-35,000 hours, that’s two to four times longer than CFL and 25-35 times longer than incandescent. According to Philips, LED bulbs can last 18.3 years if used three hours per day.
LEDs are also cooler to the touch, translating into less wasted energy (read heat), meaning less work for your air conditioner. LEDs can withstand extreme temperatures and do not contain any toxic chemicals.
The United States Department of Energy stated that using LED lighting instead incandescent over the next 20 years can prevent 40 new power plants from being constructed – a savings of $265 billion dollars!
Over 50% of the people we spoke to that have switched to LEDs light bulbs from incandescent or CFLs have seen a reduction in their electric bill from 10-50%. One family told us that when they moved into a bigger house they replaced all bulbs with LEDs. Their electric bill came out lower than when they lived in a smaller house.
Maintain Your HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) System Having a properly working HVAC system is critical to reducing your electricity usage. The harder your system works, the more money you pay.
Be sure to have your HVAC system properly serviced and cleaned every summer and winter respectively, to insure its performing at maximum efficiency.
Here are two tips to keep your HVAC in tip-top shape:
Cleaning and/or replacing filters once per month can lower your AC’s energy usage by 5% to 15%.
If you have a central cooling system, make sure the floor registers aren’t blocked with furniture or full or dust.
Install Energy Efficient Windows
Energy-efficient windows can pay for themselves by lowering your heating and cooling bill because they conserve energy.
With a special coating, a new window spacer system and advanced technology. And less energy consumption translates into a lower monthly energy bill.
But wait! That’s not all.
Many cities provide a significant tax credit for upgrading your home to energy-efficient windows. That means more money in your pocket and less in Uncle Sam’s. Everyone likes that.
However, to enjoy the benefits of energy-efficient windows, proper window selection and installation is crucial. When properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.
Improving window performance in your home involves design, selection, and installation. We have a great deal of experience and can help you choose and install the right energy-efficient window for your home.
Install Window Treatments
Curtains, blinds and shades can all help lower your electric bill.
If you have highly reflective blinds, keep them closed and lowered on a sunny day. You could reduce heat gain by up to 45%. Light-colored treatments are most ideal. The lighter the color, the more they’ll deflect the sun’s rays.
Insulate Your Home
Wall and attic insulation is an excellent way to lower your electric bill because it reduces heat loss in the winter and keeps cool air in the summer.
The amount you can save depends on the shape of your house and attic and the type of heating you use.
If you have a home built before 1980, chances are there is no insulation in your walls. You may also have asbestos. Either way, get a professional to take a look.
There are several types of home insulation. We can help you choose and install the one that best suits your home.
Other ways to lower your electric bill are to improve the energy efficiency of existing windows by adding storm windows, caulking, and/or weather stripping.
Many people have the common misconception that you are stuck with one provider for your area.
That’s a mistake.
You have a choice.
“It’s unfortunate that many people think they don’t have a choice when it comes to an energy provider,” explains Barry Saltzman, energy savings advisor at Energy Management Solutions of Northeast Ohio.
“When people see how much money they can save, they’re shocked.”
Energypricechoice.com/ems is a helpful site that compares your current electric rates to see if you’re getting the best value. You can also sign up for a new provider there.
Barry Saltzman is available to answer any questions or help you to switch providers. He can be reached at 440-382-2759.
Our own Moshe Muskal is an energy consultant for Ambit Energy and has helped many people lower their electric bill by switching providers. He can be reached at 216-903-6947.
The Obvious Way to Lower Your Energy Bill?
Turn off the lights.
Sound simple? It is.
Keeping lights off in rooms you’re not in can save you a boat load of money.
If you’re like me, you’re obsessed with roaming your house and turning off all the lights that aren’t being used. It’s something I have to do before I leave for work and before I go to bed.
The feeling I get when I flip that switch to “off” is euphoric.
Try it. You’ll like it.
We Can Help You Choose
When it comes to lowering your electric bill, you have plenty of choices. Too many, perhaps.
Our team at Regency Developers can help guide you into which way is the best for you, your home and your wallet.