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8 Tips for Lowering Your Electric Bill

We use electricity in almost every aspect of our lives, even when we don’t realize it or intend to.

The little things in your house all add up to a big electric bill at the end of the month! Keep reading to see how you can lower that number over time.

  1. Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are the ultimate tool for convenience. They will save you money on electricity bills and make your home more energy efficient. Depending on the type of thermostat model that you get, you could even program it from your phone. A lot of models also have the ability to learn your habits and schedule over time so that you don't have to adjust it every time you leave or come home from work. For more information on wifi thermostats and all of the benefits they have, check out this link.

  1. Insulation

One of the largest wastes of energy is because of a lack of insulation or faulty seals around doors, windows, and skylights. You might be under the impression that insulation only keeps heat inside of your home in the middle of winter, but insulation serves a purpose in summer as well.

Ultimately, insulation acts as a barrier between the inside and outside temperatures and prevents the temperatures from equalizing. So it will keep the cool air that your air conditioning unit is generating trapped inside of your home and keep the hot summer air outside of your home.

However, just because your insulation is doing its job, it doesn’t mean that there are no other vulnerabilities in your house. You also need to check the seals around your windows, doors, and skylights to make sure that cool air isn’t slipping out and hot air isn’t slipping in.

  1. Air Filters

Every HVAC technician you have will pound this into your head, but we’ll do it once more for good measure. Don’t forget to replace your air filters! In a perfectly clean home, with no kids, no smokers, and no pets, you can get away with replacing your filters every 6-9 months. However, most people don’t live in this ideal home, in which case it’s best to replace your air filters every 2-3 months.

It’s important to stay on top of your air filter replacement because once your filters are dirty they won’t be able to retain any more dirt, debris, dander or allergens and all of this filth will end up recirculating throughout your home.

  1. Appliances

There are several appliances in your home that can be used more efficiently than you might realize. Some of them include:

  • Water Heater - Most water heaters come set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can be lowered to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and heat your water just as well while eliminating the risk of burning you.

  • Washing Machine - You don’t always need to wash your clothes in hot water; in fact, a lot of the time, cold water will get the job done just fine. The next time you’re doing laundry give it a shot and see the results both in your laundry and your energy bill.

  • Dishwasher - Select the air dry method instead of the heat dry method the next time you’re washing dishes, and make sure the dishwasher is full every time you wash them, rather than washing multiple half loads.

  1. Lightbulbs

Choosing light bulbs might not seem like a big deal, but they can have a significant impact on the efficiency of your home and the cost of electricity over time. If your home is still using incandescent light bulbs, then you should go through and replace all of them. Research has shown that only about 10% of the energy that incandescent bulbs use is turned into light, the rest is released as heat. This is bad for your lighting and your electricity bills.

  1. Smart Power Strip

Did you know that nearly 75 percent of the energy used by home electronics is consumed when the device is turned off? This energy use is often referred to as the phantom load.

The majority of the devices that continue to draw power include televisions, DVD players, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. Essentially, anything that shows time or another setting while not actively being used.

Utilizing a smart power strip is one way that you can help to eliminate this phantom load and reduce your electric bill by nearly 10 percent.

  1. Windows

To prevent heat gain in your home, keep your windows as covered from the sun as possible. One way to do this is by installing curtains or blinds on the inside of your home. These have the added benefit of being easily closed or opened so you can allow the sun in your home during the early mornings or late evenings. Additionally, you could install awnings on the exterior to prevent the suns rays from entering directly into your home.

Another fun way to prevent light from entering directly into your home is with landscaping. By planting a tree with a lot of foliage near your window or windows, there will be a natural shade on your home, and it will make your yard look landscaped and put together.

  1. Maintenance

Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your home and your electricity bills is keeping up with your home’s air conditioning and electricity maintenance. It’s inevitable that over time, your air conditioning unit will begin to fail and work less efficiently, but this can be avoided to a certain extent with proper maintenance and care.

A regular air conditioning maintenance check will include these services:

  • Checking and replacing the air filters

  • Cleaning evaporator and condenser coils

  • Checking refrigerant levels

  • Testing for electrical problems

For all of your home’s air conditioning, air quality and electrical concerns contact the experts at A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical. Our Portland technicians are the best in the business and are ready to get your home back to the comfort that you desire. Call today or visit our website for more information!

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