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Future of Energy Conservation: Home Upgrades and Tips to Lower Your Electric Bill

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, people have preferred or have been forced to stay at home. Many companies have realized working from home is a viable option, especially that everyone’s health is at stake nowadays. However, even with the convenience of this setup, you may find your energy bill spiking uncomfortably higher than usual. Or you might be back at the office again, which also means you’re going back to your usual expenses. But remember that you have other family members left at home to use the power while you’re away, so you might want to consider reducing your energy bill.

When you set your mind to lowering your electric bill this year, high, low, or average, you can achieve the goal even in the simplest ways. But if you have the choice, which will you make—a higher or lower bill? Bet you want the latter. Fortunately, that’s possible if you follow these ways:

1. Buy energy-efficient appliances

The average use of household appliances makes up 13 percent of overall energy use at home, so it’s wise to transition to energy-efficient appliances. They may have bigger prices upfront, but they can lower your energy use in the long run. Make sure to check if they’re labeled ENERGY STAR. This is a federal guarantee that an appliance will take less energy when used or on standby.

2. Adjust your daily power use

If you make an effort to change your daily habits of using power, you can save a significant amount. Here are a few tips:

Water usage (shower, laundry, etc.)

Since hot water is more expensive, you can always keep in mind to cut a minute from your shower time. Control your hot water usage overall. Choose cold water over lukewarm or hot water when doing your laundry since cold water can help you finish the task more quickly. Then, hang your laundry dry using your clothesline. If you should use a dryer, toss a dry towel in it. This minimizes the time they will need for drying.

Home appliances

If you’re not at home, make sure to turn off your air conditioner. Turn off your burner earlier than usual. It will still give off enough heat to finish your cooking. It’s also much better when your windows face south as it lets you use natural light.

Electronic devices

Any electronic devices that aren’t used should also be unplugged since their standby power will still consume energy. And if you’re still using your desktop computer, switch to a laptop.

HVAC systems

Use a fan instead of your air conditioner during summers. Also, make sure that you turn your thermostat off during the winter. As per the Department of Energy, you save 1% on your energy bill every time you lower a degree in your thermostat.

3. Install a smart thermostat

A thermostat device

You can save a great deal on your energy bill if you reset your thermostat when you are away from home or asleep. You only have to install a programmable or automatic setback thermostat. This means you don’t have to upgrade your HVAC system so that you can reduce any wasteful use of energy. You can save as much as $180 per year with a mere programmable thermostat.

Once you have already installed one, check its location. Ensure not to put them under direct sunlight or other related factors as they can trigger the furnace or air conditioner even if not needed.

4. Switch to solar

If you want to live completely off-the-grid or save a huge amount of money in the long run, going for commercial solar panels is your best choice. While doing so, you help protect the environment as well. Solar panels can be costly at first, but they make a huge return on investment (ROI) for the long term and can last for 25 or more years. Each year, electricity costs spike up, but with solar panels, you don’t have to be one of those worrying.

5. Skip using traditional light bulbs

Since traditional incandescent light bulbs take up a lot of energy and will most often need replacements, consider replacing them with energy-efficient lights such as LED (light-emitting diode) lights. You can also install compact fluorescent or halogen lamps because they can save you a range of electricity costs between 25 and 80 percent. Plus, they last for a longer time compared to traditional bulbs. Coupled with the habit of turning the lights off when you leave a room, switching to energy-efficient lights can help you save a lot on your electric bill.

6. Maintain your air conditioner

Approximately half of household energy bill points to your heating and cooling system, so you might want them to run at their best all the time. You can do so by maintaining your HVAC system—lubricating the motor, changing the filter, cleaning the fins, etc. Be aware that air conditioners placed under direct sunlight consume up to more than 10 percent of power. If your HVAC system is placed directly under the sun, then be sure to put shade nearby, such as trees or tall shrubs. Just ensure they don’t impede the airflow.

Have you discovered other ways to cut your electric bill in half? Make sure all your family members or housemates know about them so that you can minimize your energy bill altogether.

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