If you have not noticed, utility bills can sometimes get out of control. Out here in West Texas, the weather can drastically shift from cold to hot, which will entail a rise in your bill. Here are some helpful tips to help combat that utility bill.
Energy Efficient Bulbs
Switching to Light Emitting Diode (LED) or Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs can be one of the most accessible and most affordable swaps to get started in saving money on your utilities. These new types of bulbs have exponentially advanced energy consumption down to 70% to 90% less energy compared to a traditional incandescent light bulb (TIL). As well, they can outlast TIL bulbs many times over. The average lifespan of a TIL bulb is 1,000 Hours compared to 8,000 (CFL) and 25,000 (LED) hours. An excellent place to start is to switch out your old bulbs from fixtures you use often!
Low Flow Fixtures
Replace your old bathroom shower head or kitchen faucet for new ones. Low flow fixtures help lower the amount of water you use. Via Federal mandate, new fixtures must abide by producing at least 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) at 80 psi or 2.2 GPM at 60 psi. Thus, achieving water savings of 25%-60%.
Unplug your Electronics
When electronics remain plugged in but are not in use, they still consume a small amount of energy called “phantom energy.” Look around your home for all the electronics that are plugged in and take note of which ones can be unplugged will not in use. Nonetheless, if you want to integrate your smart home device (echo dot or google home), consider using advanced power strips to connect all your electronics. They can be controlled by voice command and prevent electronics from drawing power when they are off or not being used.
If you have a dishwasher, use it. Many people are under the impression that hand washing is more efficient than a dishwasher. Not the case. On average washing dishes by hand can consume up to 3 times more water than a dishwasher. This is due to dishwasher pumps, filters, and spray jets that reuse water throughout the cleaning process. Clean water is only used at the beginning and the final rinse. So, take a load off your shoulders and begin to use that dishwasher to save on your water bill.
The biggest consumer of electricity in your home is your air conditioning unit. It’s best practice to set your thermostat a few degrees cooler when you leave the house, only keeping it at a comfortable temperature when you are home. To simplify this process, consider a smart thermostat. Through WIFI you can program a set schedule of when to raise and lower the temperature. According to Energy.gov, “you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.”
Thinking for the future
Big appliances such as a fridge or a washer/dryer can be a hefty investment, especially with the integration of smart features. However, think for the future. Upgrading to new appliances controlled by your smartphone can help you maintain and save energy for the years to come. The latest appliances abide by federal regulations to use less power and function the same.