In observance of “Cut Your Energy Costs Day,” we wanted to provide you three smart tips that will help you say goodbye to high electric bills. These tips will increase your home’s power efficiency and put coins back in your pockets.
Kill the Phantom
Many electronic devices and appliances use “phantom” power even when they are not in use. Televisions, stereos, Blu-ray and DVD players, desktop computers, and many kitchen appliances use phantom power. Look around your home. Almost any device that holds the time or saves your settings is using phantom power. A joint study between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several other environmental agencies around the globe contribute a full 10 percent of your monthly energy bill to phantom power. Even more shocking, some studies suggest that 75 percent of the energy used by home electronics is consumed while they are turned off and not in use.
A simple solution to this issue is investing in power strips, and using them. Plug all of your home theater devices into a power strip. This one power strip will likely control your home theater stereo system, your cable or satellite box, your Blu-ray/DVD player, and your TV. Simply flipping the switch on your power strip can eliminate phantom power being wasted through several devices. Try doing the same at your desktop computer. Also, unplug smartphone and tablet chargers. They continue to draw energy when not in use.
Chill the Water
Does your hot water need to be so… well, hot? Think about it. How often do you use your maximum heated water to shower or wash clothes and dishes? You probably don’t. Some studies suggest that over 13 percent of your home’s electricity goes solely to heating water and nothing else.
Check your water heater settings and determine what temperature works best for you and your family. Lower the thermostat and watch your electric bill drop as well. You can also install a timer, insulate your pipes, fix any leaky pipes, and install heat traps on your water tank. This will help your water heater run more efficiently, and can save you lots of cash over time.
Feel the Lights
There are several steps you can take to make your home’s lighting situation more efficient. Two of the easiest steps are switching to LED light bulbs, and then switching to dimmers.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. Also, install dimmer switches. This will allow you to use just the right amount of light when you need it.
Taking action on just these three tips can help you cut the cost of energy on “Cut Your Energy Costs Day.”