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Do you feel like your energy bills keep going up and up? You do not have to just accept paying hundreds of dollars in utility bills every month. There are actually some very easy and effective ways of cutting back on electricity usage. Whether you want to save a little money or help the environment, these tips will help you conserve electricity and drop your rates.
Maintain Your Heater and AC
If you want your HVAC system to run as efficiently as possible, remember to change the filter regularly and get annual maintenance on your systems. This ensures that dust and other debris is not clogging up your system and making it run longer than needed. In addition to saving on your electric bills, this also ensures you do not have to pay a lot for costly HVAC repairs.
Get a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit will involve experts going over your household to see ways electricity might be wasted. A big benefit of these audits is that they can measure for air leaks and let you know about windows and doors that need to be sealed better. Once you are aware of all the potential problems, you will know what you need to fix around the house.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Heating and cooling is always one of the biggest charges on an electric bill, but a lot of times, families are paying for heating and cooling when no one is home. A programmable thermostat can be used to turn off AC or heaters during midday or other times when the house is empty and get it back to comfortable temperatures before people arrive. This can save big without causing any inconveniences.
Ask Your Electric Company About Payment Options
All ways to cut back on electric bills do not involve just using less electricity. Sometimes, it is possible to change the amount you pay per watt used. Check with your electric company to see if they have more than one payment option. Some places may let you select a prepaid plan, which can help you save since Alberta electricity rates historically increase over time. Other electric providers may have contracts where you get a lower rate by agreeing to use them for a while or rewards programs where you get credits for not using energy during key surge times. Taking the time to ask about these options can help you save big.
Use Appliances Efficiently
There are a lot of clever little ways to reduce electricity usage by timing your appliance usage properly. A big one is always waiting until the dishwasher is full to run it. You can also save electricity by drying multiple loads of laundry in a row because your unit will not have to heat up for each cycle. If you are cooking multiple dishes in the kitchen, try to time it so that they can all be in the oven at the same time.
Reduce Your Water Heater Temperature
Traditional water heaters work by always having a store of high heat water in their tank that is mixed with cold water to get you your desired temperature from the faucet. This can mean that you end up paying a lot of electric bills for just having a bunch of super hot water sitting around that you never use. Unless you need scalding hot water coming into your sink and shower all the time, you may want to consider lowering the maximum temperature on your tank. Just reducing it by a few degrees can save money without causing a noticeable difference.
Find Creative Ways to Stay Comfortable
Not reaching for the thermostat button every time you feel uncomfortable can drastically lower your electric rates. In the summer, try staying cool by more natural means like opening windows or wearing cooler clothes. A ceiling fan makes a room feel several degrees cooler while using only 10 percent of the energy that an air conditioner would. In the winter, wear a sweater or leave your oven door open after cooking dinner to stay warm without needing heaters.
Cut Back on Standby Energy Waste
Roughly 10 percent of the average electric bill goes towards electronics that are on standby. Though putting things on standby saves more electricity than leaving them on, it is still a significant waste. Therefore, it is better to shut items down completely when not in use. Consider attaching items to a power strip, so you can easily shut everything off instead of having to unplug them one by one.
With these tips, you can lower your rates and stop using too much electricity. How much do you think you can save?