While this can be stressful, not all hope is lost. We've compiled a list of 6 easy-to-use tips that will help you to reduce your energy usage and in turn, save you money on your bills.
1. Invest in ceiling fans
For some reason, many people today assume that ceiling fans are a thing of the past. When really, they can save you a bundle on your energy bill. If you have a ceiling fan in your house and use it properly, you can cut back on your bill greatly. Now, problems can arise when people are unsure of how to use them correctly (yes, there really is a correct way using them). In order to be used correctly, ceiling fans should be set to spin counter-clockwise throughout the summer months, this will pull the hot air up to the ceiling and away from the living space. During the winter months, reverse the setting so that the fans blow the hot air down.
2. Practice proper filter maintenance
In order to get the most out of your furnace, dryer and air conditioner it is imperative that you practice proper filter maintenance by changing the filter on your furnace regularly as recommended by their manufacturers. The majority of furnace manufacturers recommend doing changing your filter on a quarterly basis to keep the unit operating at peak efficiency.
If you use a smart thermostat, such as the Nest, the companion app will remind you when it's time to change your filter.
3. Don't be an energy sucker
This tip is actually quite simple. If you aren't using an appliance, unplug it. Many people don't think about the fact that when most appliances are on "standby" they continue to draw energy. Just think about all of those clocks blinking -12:00- that you haven't bothered to reset since the last time the power went out...
A great way of doing this is to have a couple of appliances plugged into the same extension cord –-- be careful not to add too many! By doing this, you avoid having to go around your house and unplug all of your small appliances, simply unplug the extension cord when you're done. The same can be done for small home office equipment and other clusters of electronics that do not necessarily need to be hooked up 24/7.
You can also invest in a smart power bar, which automatically cuts power to specific outlets, and thereby appliances, when they're not in use.
4. Invest in energy efficient major appliances
Purchasing major appliances that are energy efficient are something that more people care about today than ever before. Yes, it typically does cost more up front, but an energy efficient major appliance can help to keep even more of your hard-earned money in your pocket over time. Not only that, but a house full of energy efficient major appliances may help increase the resale value to your home.
5. Invest in energy efficient doors and windows
Just like investing in energy efficient appliances, investing in energy efficient doors and windows might cost some money upfront, but it will end up saving you a pretty penny in the long run. By investing in these, you are protecting your home from losing the warm or cool air that you've already paid for through expensive heating (typically gas or electricity) or cooling (electricity), while at the same time protecting your home from the bitter cold or sweltering outside temperatures.
6. Wash with cold water
Did you know that the cost of heating water or washing machine can more than double the cost of a load of laundry? This means that by simply washing certain clothes in cold water, you can halve the cost of a load of laundry. You may need special cold water detergent, but you will still come out ahead.
Evidently, there are a variety of ways to save money on your electricity bill, but we certainly haven't listed them all here. We encourage you to share your suggestions on ways to save money by saving energy in the comments below.