Are you trying to reduce your monthly budget? If so, one of the easiest things to cut is your electric bill. Most of us spend more than we need to each month on electricity by wasting electricity. It is easy to see when we are wasting food or spending money on unnecessary purchases, but it is harder to recognize wasted electricity. Read on to learn about five simple ways to reduce your electric bill each month.
1. Unplug Electronics
The first thing that you should do is make sure that you and everyone in your family unplug electronics when you are not using them. Not only do unused electronics that are plugged in drain unnecessary electricity, they generate heat. The heat that these electronic items generate also increases your home's air conditioning needs. Be sure to plug your microwaves, cellphone charges, televisions and other electronic devices into power strips so that you and your family can easily turn these devices on and off when necessary.
2. Switch to CFLs
If you are serious about reducing your monthly electric bill, you will need to switch out your incandescent light bulbs for compact flourescent bulbs, also known as CFLs. Energy.gov points out that 90 percent of the energy used by incandescent lights is actually given off as heat, so your incandescent light bulbs are wasting electricity and your money. In fact, Energy.gov experts state that the average home can save about $50 each year by replacing 15 incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient CFLs.
3. Use Less Hot Water
Another quick and easy way to reduce your home's electric bill is to use less hot water in your home. This means you should use cold water in place of hot water when necessary, and you should reduce the amount of hot water that you use when it is necessary. For example, you can wash your clothes with cold water instead of wasting electricity to heat water for your clothes washer. There are special laundry detergents that are great to use if you are washing your clothes with cold water. You can reduce the amount of hot water that you use for showering, hand dish washing and hand washing by installing low flow shower heads and water aerators on your spigots. These quick fixes are very inexpensive and will quickly pay for themselves with the amount of water and electricity that you save by installing them.
4. Timing is Everything
Avoid doing activities that generate heat during the day. Save your dishwashing, clothes drying and baking for the evening when your air conditioner will not need to compensate for the excess heat in the home due to these heat-generating appliances. You may see substantial savings by reducing your air conditioning load, and these heat-generating appliances may help you stay warm at night if you save these activities for the evenings.
5. Program Your Thermostat
You should use your programmable thermostat wisely if you have one. Set your programmable thermostat so that it is not wasting electricity on heating or cooling your home when nobody is in it. Set it to reach your desired temperature only when the home is occupied. If you don't have a programmable thermostat, you can save a good deal on your home's heating and cooling costs by testing the temperature settings to find the most conservative settings that will keep you and your family comfortable. For example, try reducing your heating temperature to 68 degrees Fahrenheit rather than 75 degrees, and try to set your cooling temperature to 73 degrees rather than 70 degrees.
Follow these five tips, and you are sure to see savings on your electric bill within 30 days. Once you have mastered these energy-saving tips, you can move on to more advanced techniques to reduce your monthly electric bills.