As temperatures heat up, there are savings to be found room by room in your home, using and home automation – along with minor adjustments in your energy use and appliance choices. Get started today, with these simple ways to cut your energy bill.
Just How Much can you Save on Summer Energy Costs?
An easy, first step is to consider “vampire” appliances, which can use energy even when not turned on, and unplugging as many of these things as possible when they aren’t in use. (Examples include your TV, microwave, phone or laptop chargers, and computers.) Next, boost your energy savings with the following, additional tips:
- Replace five of your home’s most frequently used lights with more efficient ENERGY STAR qualified LED lighting, which uses 70-90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and lasts 35-50 times longer. These bulbs also produce 70-90 percent less heat, so using them can also reduce the energy it takes to cool your home in warmer months. Potential Savings: $75/year
- Make sure your home is properly sealed and insulated, checking door and windows for draft or leaks and making repairs where needed. Potential Savings: $250/year
- Plug devices into a master power strip and keep it off when electronics are not in use. This can help reduce phantom loads mentioned above (the energy used by some electronics when plugged in – even when switched off). Potential Savings: $100/year
- Use blackout or insulated curtains. Blackout curtains can reduce your home’s energy loss by up to 25 percent by blocking leaks, drafts, and outdoor temperatures. Potential Savings: $100/year
- If possible, paint your roof white or go with a lighter shingle color. It seems so simple, but a lighter roof can decrease the amount of energy required to cool your home and help seriously save on energy bills. Potential Savings: $100/year
- Practice simple, routine appliance maintenance. Optimizing the life and functionality of your appliances doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. Leaving a small space between your refrigerator and the wall allows more airflow, and cleaning coils keep them running better. Changing filters regularly can keep your heating and cooling unit from working too hard to do its job. If you install a home energy management system, you can track electricity usage of your various appliances and set energy usage goals. Potential Savings: $110/year
- Switch to using ENERGY STAR appliances over standard appliances. Appliances account for nearly 20 percent of energy use in the average household. Energy efficient appliances have better quality components, with longer lifetimes as well as improved design and performance. Potential Savings: $80/year
- Use a smart thermostat. Turning your thermostat just a few degrees up (or down in winter) can make a real difference in your energy costs. Or, consider energy management solutions that let you control and manage the temperature, lights and more using an app or customized schedule. Alert 360 customers have the ability to control their smart thermostats from their smartphones – ensuring their thermostats are always at the optimum temperature. Potential Savings: $180/year
Reduce Your Energy Use with these Simple, Daily Steps
Lower energy bills even further when you add these greener living tips to your daily routine:
- Use smaller appliances – A toaster oven or microwave could save you heating up the entire kitchen versus your stove or oven. Also, use a lamp when an overhead light isn’t needed.
- Use cold water – When washing clothes and doing other tasks, choose cold water when you can to help lower energy usage.
- Make sure it’s full – Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.
- Check the temperature – Make sure that your freezer and refrigerator are set at the right temperatures.
- Use a clothesline. Bonus: It gets you outside into the fresh air!
- Turn off the lights – When leaving a room. Every time. Just like your mom and dad taught you. (While you’re at it, keep trying to teach your children the importance of closing exterior doors when your air conditioner is running!)
- Cook outdoors – Try some new recipes on your outdoor grill and give your kitchen appliances a break.
- Bake at night – In summer, bake at night when outdoor temperatures are lower. This prevents your air conditioner from working extra hard to keep your home cool.
- Dust – Remove dust from light fixtures and light bulbs to keep your home brighter, reducing the need for added lights.
Enjoy Energy Savings from Programmable Thermostats and Easy Home Automation
Automating or creating a smart home can do more than add convenience and comfort to your life. According to the Department of Energy, smart thermostats and apps make it easy to control the temperature of your home, saving energy and money. At Alert 360, we already knew that! It’s one of the first steps we recommend as part of our free consultations and when homeowners ask us how to use smart home automation and energy management solutions to trim their electric bills. There are three primary ways of automating your home helps reduce your energy use and saves you money. A home automation system allows you to:
- Set your thermostat to automatically lower based on a smart schedule, maintaining comfort and savings
- Remotely control and monitor energy use, turning off appliances when not needed
- Set a schedule for lights to shut off or dim when you’re not home
Know How Much Energy Your Appliances Actually Use
One other tip: Hit the books (or blog)! Doing your research and knowing your energy facts help make you a wiser energy consumer and cut high electric bills. (Remember: If you have energy management or home automation system in place, it can help pinpoint which appliances use the most energy and allow you to better control them – reducing their consumption and cost.) Knowing the following facts and learning more at Energy.gov can help too:
- A light bulb can last 2.28 years (or 20 times) longer when dimmed 50 percent.
- 56 percent of the average home energy bill comes from heating and cooling.
- Water heating accounts for 18 percent of a home’s energy use.
- You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day. Keeping it warm while you’re at work or away is an easy way to reduce your energy consumption.
Combining these energy stats with the above tips puts you well on the way to cutting high electric bills.
Additional Home Savings for Families with Alarm Monitoring
On a final note, because we also offer alarm monitoring in addition to energy management services, we can’t overlook an additional savings opportunity for homeowners: If your home has a monitored security system, don’t forget to add up the savings off your home insurance premiums, which can be up to 20 percent a year.
Kick Back and Save on Summer Cooling Costs
Reducing your electric bill doesn’t have to be hard work. Our advice? Pick which of these energy-reducing tips work best for your family. Then relax and enjoy the savings all summer long!
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