Cut Costs and Save: 3 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill

Calculator, coins and bills

Your energy bill goes up for a variety of reasons. You may have old appliances that aren’t energy-efficient. You may also be using new digital devices longer than necessary.

An accurate way to figure out why your monthly bills are rising is to get an energy audit. A professional assessment can determine behavior that may be adding to energy use and detect rooms that enable energy loss. The auditor may suggest improvements that can help lower your bill.

Here are three options:

1. Window Treatments Help Control Temperature

Window treatments are worthy home additions. They not only enhance the aesthetic of your property but also allow you to control the temperature in your home. Installing sun shades outdoors, for example, can help block the heat and prevent it from entering your home. This keeps your home cool, especially during summer.

You can also use window treatment to insulate your home when winter comes. Cellular shades are ideal because they have pockets that create layers between your interior and the outdoors. The insulating capacity of a cellular shade depends on its thickness; it can be a single cell, double cell, or triple cell.

Don’t stop at your windows. Consider your insulation poor ones can increase your electric bill, too.

2. Keep Your Insulation Effective

Heat can escape your home without proper insulation. This forces the system to work harder to provide adequate heat to your home, which results in higher electric bills. When insulating your home, make sure to use materials that match the recommended R-value.

According to the Department of Energy, R-value refers to the resistance capacity of an insulating material to conductive heat flow. It adds that the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness of the material. Factors, like the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density, can affect the R-value.

You can choose from a variety of insulation, such as batts and blankets, loose-fill, structural insulated panels (SIPs), and spray foam. They also come in different materials, including fiberglass, rockwool, cotton, and polystyrene, among others.

3. Eliminate “Phantom Loads” in Your Home

Man taking plug off

Another culprit for the increase of your electric bill is “phantom load.” This refers to electricity consumed by an electronic device while it’s turned off. Several environmental agencies revealed in a joint study that 10 percent of your monthly electric bill is phantom loads.

Some appliances that add an extra 10 percent to your bill include:

  • Cell phone chargers
  • TV
  • Clock radio
  • Computer and printer
  • Microwave oven
  • Coffeemaker

Minimizing, if not eliminating, phantom loads can improve your electric bill. Make sure to unplug appliances when not in use, particularly your mobile devices’ chargers. Additionally, only plug your microwave oven when you need them.

For your computer components, you should plug all of them into a power strip. Don’t forget to turn off the strip when you’re done using your computer. A smart power strip can automatically cut power to appliances that are not in use, making it a worthy investment.

There are more ways to cut down your electric bill. Make sure to identify the cause to find the right solution. Being mindful of your electricity consumption can save and minimize your expenses.

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