Most people seem to think you need a major house renovation if you want to reduce power bills in the summer while also lessening your lifestyle’s impact on the planet. However, you don’t always have to buy new, ‘power-saving’ appliances to become more efficient with your energy consumption.
Sometimes, even the smallest changes can produce big results when you can frequently observe them. In this article, we will show you 6 useful tips and tricks to reduce your power bills, especially in those hot months.
1. Put thick drapes on your windows to keep your home cooler
Sunlight, no matter how good it is for your body, isn’t really good for your appliances. It makes almost everything hotter, which in turn will make it more difficult for your air conditioning unit and other appliances to keep themselves cool. So installing thick drapes for your windows, especially when the harsh afternoon sun is out, will save you a good amount on your power bill.
Note, however, that blinds come in many various designs, with each one serving a specific purpose. Some blinds completely block out the sunlight, while others simply regulate the light coming in. Better yet, there are certain designs that will let you choose whether you want to block out all sunlight or just a fraction of it.
2. Spend less time in the shower
As a general rule, it’s pretty expensive to heat up water. So when you take a hot shower every morning (or every night) you should know how much energy you actually consume. Plus, you’re also wasting a lot more water than you need!
Still, if you can limit your shower time to about 10-15 minutes, you’re not only cutting back on your power bills but also on your water dues and precious time, too!
3. Leverage off-peak hours
If you cannot avoid using a lot of energy at a certain period of time or if you simply wish to enjoy your hot shower for a longer time, then you might as well do these energy-consuming activities during off-peak hours. This is usually between 11 pm and 7 am during summer and 9 pm and 7 am in the winter, including weekends and major holidays but it could actually depend on your area.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, for a standard showerhead, every minute wasted in the shower equates to 2.5 gallons of water being wasted. Fortunately, by showering during off-peak hours, you can enjoy using more electricity at guaranteed lower rates which, of course, will turn into a cheaper, monthly electric bill and less water wasted.
4. Maintain your ducts
Another micro-adjustment you can do to keep your power bills low is doing maintenance work on your ducts. Poorly-sealed ducts release hot air into unheated spaces and thus adding a few hundred dollars to your cooling and heating bills every year.
Simple upgrades or simply hiring a professional to check out if your ducts are in shape could turn out to be a life-changing hack, in terms of your energy consumption.
Additionally, you have to make sure that there is no furniture blocking airflow through your registers.
5. Use dimmer switches
You don’t always have to uninstall harsh, bright lights in favor of soft lighting just to lower your power consumption. Sometimes, all you need is a dimmer switch to lower the brightness of your electric light bulbs.
Standard dimmer switches work on most light fixtures, but it’s always good to consult a professional before you install any electrical adjustments.
6. Subscribe to a community solar program in your area
Even though we all know harnessing solar power for residential needs can dramatically reduce one’s power bills, it’s not always ideal to go for installing solar panels on the roofs or windows, especially if you’re looking for small adjustments that will not cost you a lot of time or money.
In this case, you can check out if a community solar program is available for homeowners in your area. Programs like this allow you to tap into a shared solar power farm without having to shell out the capital for such infrastructure yourself.
Keeping power costs low doesn’t always have to be traded off with expensive renovations or new appliances/home equipment. Sometimes, all it takes is being crafty and doing your research about existing design ideas for a more energy-efficient lifestyle.