The global squeeze on fossil energy supplies coupled with the current electricity demands has led to an unprecedented rise in energy bills. This makes it critical to find ways to save on your utilities and combat this continual rise in the cost of living. This article outlines eleven tips for lowering your energy bill in 2022.
An energy audit is the most efficient way to determine your current energy usage and identify potential energy-saving opportunities. Typically, a large portion of your energy consumption is due to your heating and cooling needs, calling for extra attention on the condition and state of your HVAC systems. A smart way to reduce these costs is by hiring seasoned HVAC experts like 888 Heating to professionally maintain these systems and help determine when they need to be replaced.
Step up your energy-saving efforts by investing in modern home appliances that have been designed to work more efficiently while consuming far less energy than their old counterparts. A comparison of older and modern appliances shows that:
- Old refrigerators and freezers consume an average of between 40% to 60% more energy than modern models
- Energy-efficient washing machines require 30% to 50% less energy to operate
- Tankless water heaters will be 8% to 14% more energy-efficient for your home
- LED smart bulbs require 75% less energy compared to incandescent lights
- Modern dishwashers use less water and run for a shorter period, reducing a good chunk of your kitchen utility bills
For your major energy-consuming appliances such as refrigerators & freezers, ovens, dishwashers, air conditioners, and water heaters, it is always best to replace them if they are older than ten to fifteen years.
Boosting your home’s insulation is a practical way to reduce your heating and cooling needs and enjoy some significant savings. There are several ways to go about this, and some areas to pay attention to include:
- Weather-stripping your doors and windows to reduce air leaks
- Checking and sealing holes or cracks in your walls, ceilings, and areas where plumbing and electrical fixtures run through.
- Insulating the attic and crawlspace to keep your house warm all year long
- Installing double glazed windows to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gains in summer
- Ensuring your dryer vent is not blocked
- Sealing air leaks around your gas-fired water heater vents, furnaces, and fireplace chimneys
Install a smart or programmable thermostat to eliminate the need to control your home’s temperature manually. This will help reduce your energy usage as your thermostat will automatically switch off or reduce heating and cooling when you are away or asleep. For maximum efficiency, consider having a zoned HVAC system that allows you to independently control the temperature of each room, significantly reducing your overall energy consumption.
A practical way to keep your home’s energy consumption low is by keeping your fridge’s temperature at 37° to 40° F and 5°F for your freezer. You set these appliances any lower than this, you will only be wasting power as these devices will be working too hard to maintain these temperatures. Remember to keep your fridge full as it will take less energy to keep it cool.
Reduce your carbon footprint and energy bills by opting for alternative energy sources that will reduce your reliance on the electric grid. The best part is that you do not have to convert your entire house to renewable energy as this will be too expensive. Instead, you can opt for an installation that best works for you, such as installing a solar water heater or solar panels for your lighting for strategic savings.
Avoid washing your laundry in hot water to avoid wasting energy. If you have to do a hot wash, it is recommended to set the temperature to 30° rather than 40°. This simple switch will see you save over 25% on your washing bills, which will make a noticeable difference in your annual expenses.
Compared to air conditioners, ceiling fans cost pennies to operate, making them a pocket-friendly solution for cooling your home. Remember to change the direction of your fan during the winter and summer by:
- Ensuring it runs in an anticlockwise direction at high speeds during the summer for better circulation of cool air
- Turning it clockwise and letting it run at lower speeds in the winter to push warm air back down
Insulating your water heater pipes and tanks will reduce heat loss and improve hot water delivery. This will make it practical to lower your water heater temperature from the default 140° to 120°, reducing heating costs.
Your bathroom contributes to a good chunk of your energy bills, and to reduce these costs, you should prioritize making it more energy-efficient by:
- Replacing your old showerhead with modern, water-saving showerheads
- Upgrading to low flow energy efficient towels
- Turning off your bathroom exhaust fan after it runs for fifteen minutes
Your everyday habits determine your energy usage, making it vital to adjust your behavior. Some of the changes you need to make include:
- Use less hot water around the house
- Unplug devices when they are not in use. Alternatively, you could use a smart power strip that cuts off current when devices are not in use.
- Defrost your fridge regularly
- Limit the use of portable heaters
- Install motion sensor lights in unoccupied rooms and for your outdoor security
- Have your dishwasher and washing machine full before using them
- Ensure all your electrical appliances are well-maintained and replaced when they wear out
- Change your HVAC filter monthly
- Close your blinds during summer to reduce internal temperatures and keep them open during winter to allow in sunrays
- Fix electrical issues as fast as possible
Lowering your energy consumption is no longer an option but a necessity, and with these tips, you are guaranteed to save money on your utility bills.