Taking the steps to reduce your electric bill doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult, according to a recent article from Realtor.com. Simply switching the brand of light bulbs you use and taking a little extra time to flip switches ‘off’ can help you save money on electricity. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are a popular alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs because they’re more energy-efficient and can last six to ten times longer. So, next time you’re out shopping for light bulbs, consider opting for CFLs so you can start saving on energy costs right away. Here are four more ways to save:
Unplug! If you have things like alarm clocks, TVs, DVD players, lamps, or other plug-in devices that aren’t used frequently, unplug them! If your guest room is only occupied a few times a year, then there’s no sense financially or energy-wise to leave devices plugged-in in the room. You should also be sure to unplug devices that are used to recharge electronics and/or batteries when they’re not being used (cell phone chargers, for instance).
Save by changing your habits. Waiting to run the dishwasher until it is full is an easy way to save on energy costs this year. You can also save by turning off the “heated-dry” feature of the dishwasher and propping the door open to let the dishes air dry. You can also save money and energy by simply switching off electric burners a few minutes before you’re done cooking. The surface will stay hot for long enough to finish cooking the food, but will cost you less in energy.
Focus on the refrigerators. If it’s in your budget to purchase a new refrigerator and your model is older, it’s time to go shopping. Newer model refrigerators are much more energy-efficient than older models (using only half the electricity!) and can earn you tax benefits if you go with an Energy Star certified model. Also, keeping your fridge stocked helps it run more efficiently. If you have more than one refrigerator or freezer, look at what it’s costing you in energy bills and decide whether it is worth it to keep the extra appliance. Be sure that your refrigerator and freezer doors shut tightly and be sure that food in the fridge is sealed tightly (uncovered foods create more moisture and make the fridge work harder). Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils regularly and keep a consistent temperature inside the fridge and freezer.
Lights! You’ve probably heard this one since you were tall enough to reach the light switch, but it’s important to turn of lights that aren’t being used. If you’re forgetful or have kids that don’t always turn off the lights when they leave the room, you may want to consider installing timers or sensors that will make sure the light doesn’t stay on all day. Also, if you don’t need to light the entire room, don’t. If you can get away with using a bedside lamp or under-cabinet lighting, then there’s no need to turn on the main overhead lights. Along those same lines, dimmer switches and three-way lamps are great options for providing low light levels.
These simple tricks don’t require much extra time or energy but can save you a good amount of money in energy costs, so try some out!
Read more on lowering electricity bills on Realtor.com.