Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency is a powerful combination.
Before I show you three powerful ways to reduce your home energy bill, let me take a moment to tell you what energy conservation and energy efficiency is not.
It is not turning off your heat in winter or turning off your air conditioner in summer. It is not living in a wilderness cabin. That’s not efficient-that’s fanatical.
With that out of the way, I’m going to teach you three different strategies to conserve home energy and reduce your monthly utility bill.
Strategy 1 – Digital, Programmable Thermostat
If you do not have one, you need a digital, programmable thermostat. These thermostats are more accurate than the older type thermostats and can be programmed to keep your home at the temperature you choose.
Once the new thermostat is installed, it’s time to program it for various daily temperature settings. Some models can be programmed for one set of temperatures during the workweek when family members are away from home, and another set of temperatures for the weekend.
Models that are more elaborate can be purchased that allow you to program a different setting for each day of the week.
The Department of Energy suggests temperature settings of 68 degrees in winter and 72 degrees in summer. But there’s no need to keep your home at 68 degrees while everyone is at work or school during the day. Program the temperature for 55 degrees while the family is away and then have it adjust back to 68 degrees just before everyone arrives home again.
Choose a new programmable thermostat compatible with the heating/cooling system in your home. There are several brands on the market which you can purchase from your local home improvement store.
Strategy 2 – Timer for Hot Water Heater
It makes more sense to heat water only when you actually need hot water. Why heat water for your home when no one is there to use it?
Standard electric water heaters keep many gallons of water heated all time of the day whether anyone in the family needs it or not. Keeping gallons of water heated at all times contributes to a much higher utility bill.
Save money by installing a timer on your electric hot water heater. This handy device enables you to select specific on and off times to operate your water heater.
You may choose to have hot water available for early morning showers, or late afternoon laundry, or for evening dishwasher use. Set the timer to turn on about one (1) hour before you plan to use it.
Heat hot water only when you actually need it and watch your electric utility bill decrease. Local home improvement stores typically keep hot water heater timers in stock. A popular electric water heater timer used only with electric water heaters is The Little Gray Box.
Strategy 3 – Major Home Appliance Maintenance
Hard working home appliances need regular maintenance to keep them working at their most energy efficient.
Regularly clean or replace filters on heating and air conditioning units. Read the manufacturer’s information for your particular system’s maintenance requirements. Make a note on your calendar when maintenance is done and when it is due again.
Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils on a regular basis. Dust collecting on the coils cuts down on your refrigerator’s efficiency and substantially increases cooling costs. Simply vacuum off the heavy dust and gently brush the remaining dust away to get the coils very clean.
Perform this simple maintenance on your refrigerator – and an upright freezer, if you have one -every three (3) months. If you have pets in your home, consider vacuuming your appliances coils once a month.
Now you know three (3) simple strategies that will reduce your home electric utility bill. Put your home comfort environment on autopilot with a programmable thermostat and a water heater timer. Make major household appliance maintenance part of your home routine. Watch your home energy consumption drop!