Winter may seem a long time off, considering the mild weather much of the country is enjoying at the moment. But before long, the frigid temperatures will be sending your power bill soaring. So BILLSHARK wants to share some ways to save on your power bill and help you keep costs under control.
Keep cold air out
1. First, check for drafts. Light a stick of incense and slowly move it around windows and doors. If the smoke begins to blow sideways, you’ve found a leak. If so, caulk around windows and weather-strip doors now, before it gets too cold. And consider applying window insulation film. A typical kit that will treat four windows costs $5-$6 and takes less than 20 minutes to install.
2. If you have an attached garage, keep the door between the garage and the house closed. Install a door sweep at the bottom of the door to keep as much cold air as possible from entering your home.
3. Close fireplace flues/damper when not in use. If you have glass doors on your fireplace, keep them closed when not in use.
Heat smartly indoors
4. Open curtains or drapes on south-facing windows and doors during sunny days to allow solar heating to warm the house. Close them at night or on cloudy days.
5. Close off rooms you’re not using. They’ll get cold but not freezing, and there’s no need to pay for heating rooms you don’t need.
6. Use a programmable or Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat if you have one. If not, you’ll have to remember to adjust it manually. The setting should be around 68 degrees during the day, approximately eight degrees lower at night.
7. Use humidifiers to add humidity to the home, because humid air retains heat better than dry air.
8. Flip the switch to reverse any ceiling fans to clockwise. This helps force warm air down from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). Vent fans used to remove odors and bathroom humidity also remove heat from your home. Keep their use to a minimum.
Prevent appliance energy waste
9. Be on the lookout for “phantom load.” This is the electricity your appliances continue to consume even when they’re off. Even electronics in “standby” mode account for as much as 10 percent of your energy bill. Rather than remembering to turn off everything not in use, plug them all into power strips or smart plugs that you can cut off with a single switch.
10. Speaking of appliances, make the best use of the electricity needed to power them. Always run a full load of clothes in your washer and a full load of dishes in your dishwasher. Cold-water washing not only saves the energy it takes to heat the water, but it’s also easier on cloths. Be sure to clean your dryer’s lint trap before every use. This cuts down on drying time, and—therefore—energy use. Also try wool dryer balls, which not only save money on fabric softener sheets, but help clothes dry faster. And skip the heat cycle on your dishwasher. Instead, open the door and let dishes air-dry.
11. When using your oven, resist the urge to peek inside. Every time you open the door, the internal temperature drops as much as 25 degrees, requiring more energy to bring it back to cooking temperature. On the other hand, after you’ve finished baking/roasting, turn off the oven and open the door to let the oven’s residual heat into the house. Whenever possible, however, turn to your stovetop, microwave, or toaster oven for small cooking jobs. All use far less electricity than the oven.
12. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees, which is more than hot enough for home use. Cover it with a water-heater blanket to keep it insulated from cold air that can make it work harder to heat the water. In addition, shorter, lukewarm showers will also lower the cost of heating water, as well as keep your skin from drying out as much.
13. Replace furnace/heat pump filters once a month. A dirty filter forces your HVAC system to work harder to heat the house. For the same reason, vacuum registers, vents, and refrigerator coils regularly.
Other sneaky savings
14. Ask your power company about any rebates for various energy-saving measures. Many energy companies will offer a free or low-cost energy audit.
15. If you haven’t already done so, switch to LED lights. It will save up to 80 percent on your lighting costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
We hope this tips help you save on power bill. And of course you know that BILLSHARK can save you money on your monthly bills. We have a 90 percent success rate. Our largest savings for a single customer amounted to $9,500! So contact us today to see how much we can save for you.