According to the latest release from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential monthly electric bill is $110.21. It is also estimated that the average consumer will spend 7 percent of his or her annual income on energy. So it comes as no surprise that Americans are desperate for ways to reduce their energy use and subsequently, cut down on costs attributed to their energy bill. Read on to discover ways you can save money on your energy bill and also learn more about the three biggest energy vacuums: air conditioning and heat, laundry machines and dishwashers.
Air Conditioning and Heat
If you live somewhere with sunny weather all year round, air conditioning usage most likely accounts for the majority of your bill. If you live in a colder part of the country, however, heat is probably what costs you the most. Keep reading to discovery ways to save money with a flick of the thermostat. Tip one: check your vents. This may sound simple, but many people save money this way. If you have central air conditioning and/or heat, check the vents in your home. Some may be closed. Some believe that closing vents can reduce energy consumption by preventing the need to cool or heat a particular room. That’s actually a myth: closing vents will actually raise your energy costs, so make sure to open them. Also, in an attempt to promote better airflow in your home, make sure you’re regularly replacing air filters. Your vents use air filters to keep dirt, dust and other unwanted particles from blowing throughout your home. These filters should be replaced monthly or they’ll prevent ideal airflow. Another suggestion for airflow and temperature maintenance is to utilize fans. Fans don’t cool or heat the air, but they do circulate it. When air in your home moves around properly, it’s easier to maintain an even temperature and that means less work for your heating/cooling system. This effect can be achieved via standing or ceiling fans.
According to LG Electronics, “heating the water in the wash drum accounts for about 90% of the energy your machine uses.” Subsequently, a great way to save energy as far as your laundry machine is concerned, is by switching to the cold water setting. Drying your clothes also obviously takes a good bit of heat, so if you really want to save money on energy, use the old-fashioned method of hanging your clothes on a clothesline. Another tip is to not pack your loads too large. If there’s little room for movement in the drier, the hot air won’t be able to do its job and you may have to run the drier twice, which is an egregious waste of energy. Lastly, many utility companies have plans set up that offer discounts for switching some of your power usage to off-peak times. Call your power company and see if it’s possible that you get rewarded for using unpopular times (usually after eight p.m.). You’ll be surprised at how much you can save.
One of the biggest ways you can save energy (and money) with your dishwasher is by deactivating the heated dry method. Most machines automatically employ a heated dry method that you can easily disable. A rinsing agent can provide the desired effect of less spots much cheaper. Also load your dishes properly (a good guide can be found here) and use a quality dish soap, so you don’t have to run the dishwasher twice, the most common way people waste energy with their dishwasher.