Summers coming and we all know what that means. Time to break out the shorts and the tank tops because it’s going to get hot. Oh and why’ll you are at it, might as well break out that wallet from the shorts pocket as well and get ready to pay those higher electric bills. But wait, what if it didn’t have to be that way. What if you could actually save some money when it gets hot by cutting that electric bill back down to size. With the way energy and gas prices are these days there’s really no telling how much you could be spending in the upcoming months. Instead you should be finding out ways to save money on your electric bill before those hot months hit us. Roughly 90% of your electric bill comes from three main areas within your home. Hopefully after reading this and finding out just what those 3 are, not only will you be able to stay cool when the heat waves arive but you’ll also be able to put that green back where it belongs and save money on your utilities.
First item to take care of is your water heaters. If you have an electric water heater, you can count on an estimated 20 percent of your entire electric bill coming from this handy little device. There’s really an abundance of ways to cut the cost on your water heaters. One that most people hear about first is to install those heater jackets that fit around the tank itself. Although these do cause less heat loss and will result in a savings on your bill, the savings seem to be rather minimal. Probably the best thing that you could do to save money with your water heater is to actually turn the thermostat down. I know there’s nothing much that compares with taking a long, hot and steamy shower or bath, but simply turning it down a few degrees will likely end up being your biggest money saver when dealing with this type of appliance. Plus, can you really tell a difference when you turn your water heater down from say 140 degrees to around 130? My guess is you can’t because it’s all still very hot and will burn you. As an additional measure, you could change your shower heads to a low-flow shower head. You’ll still get clean, you’ll use less water, which means you’ll use less energy heating it, you just won’t have Niagara Falls falling down on you whisking all the dirt and grim away. If you have a smaller family, you could probably benefit better by actually switching from a tank to a tankless model. These use the least amount of energy as its not constantly heating and keeping the water at a certain temperature. It’ll only heat it when it’s in use as the water’s not stored in a tank to get heated and reheated all day long.
The second biggest resource hog on your electric bill deals with your appliances. Appliances take up a roughly estimated 30 percent of your entire electric bill so there’s a lot of ways to save money there. In most homes, the biggest appliance you’ve probably got is your refrigerator. And if you have a second one say in your garage cooling those favorite beverages you’re really not doing yourself any favors. I once had an electrician tell me that you can add probably about $50 to your monthly electric bill having that second fridge out in a nice hot garage cooling down those tasty treats. Are those near-at-hand cold drinks really worth that much a month? But for the one in your home, if it’s more than say 10 to 15 years old, you might want to start looking into getting a newer more energy efficient model as it’s probably the culprit of the largest chunk in this category. If that’s not really in your budget at this time though, don’t fret. Start with smaller appliances and get the ones with the best energy efficiency ratings that you can find. They are typically a little more expensive but some do come with nice rebates, not to mention the rebates you’ll feel in your wallet come due dates. One of the easiest things to change here though is your lightbulbs. Switch out those old light bulbs with some good compact flourescents in the larger rooms. CFL’s save on average up to 75% versus standard lighting and they actually last much longer than typical bulbs. We’ve installed CFL’s in our kitchen, den, garage and playroom and really it’s actually brighter than it was before.
Finally, tame your air conditioner. This is the biggest beast of them all and it’s estimated that roughly 40% of your entire electric bill stems directly from that unit working to cool your home. How do you do that? Simple. If it’s 90 degrees outside, 78 degrees inside is going to feel quite comfortable. I know, you want to be cool, not comfortable. Luxuries. Set the thermostat up a few degrees, you really won’t feel that much difference when it gets smoldering hot outside. Plus you can help it out by turning on some fans or ceiling fans. The actual movement of the air will make it feel much cooler than if it was simply just blowing out of the AC unit and falling to the floor. Having something that will push the air around while the units either running or cycled off will make you feel cooler and save you money. One final approach to satisy the appetite of your air conditioner is to get a programmable thermostat. You can pick these up for aruond $100 but they are worth their weight in gold and will last you a long long time. These thermostats will allow you to programatically set multiple different temperature zones throughout the day so that your AC will automatically adjust due to the temperatures outside. Find the hottest parts of the day and set it so that your AC doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool.
As you can probably tell by now these are just some of the methods you can take for saving money on your monthly electric bill. Regardless of whether you perform all the actions listed above or just some of them, you should be able to see some sort of savings in the upcoming hot summer months. Next to a house payment or possibly even a car payment (well, sometimes the electric bill can even surpass that), the electric bill is typically the highest priced bill that one would receive on a monthly basis. Any ways that you can find on how to save money on your electric bill is always something that is a good thing. If you have any other tips, feel free to share as I”m sure others are interested as well.