I have to admit – before I got pregnant with my son, I was pretty nonchalant when it came to my electric use in the home. I would often forget to turn off the bathroom light, or accidentally leave the cable box on overnight. Our electric bill was a reflection of this – way too high. But because we were “DINK’s” (dual income, no kids) I didn’t really think about the high electric bill. Stupid, I know. But once I got pregnant, I became dead set on finding ways to save money for our pending arrival, and looking for easy ways to cut the power bill was one of the first things I did.
When I say “easy ways” this is what I mean – I wasn’t willing to get rid of the TV, eat dinner by candlelight (as romantic as that might be) or handwash my clothes (like I did when I lived in Paris – seriously!)
After experimenting, I realized that there were so many easy ways to save a ton of money on the power bill. Here are 10 easy things I did that helped cut our power bill half!
1. Install Socket Sealers
I’d never heard of socket sealers before, and when I did, I was skeptical that they’d actually make a difference. I mean, really. How much of a draft could that tiny electrical socket hole really be making? Turns out, it’s a lot. And it can add a substantial amount to your heating/cooling cost. Considering that socket sealers only cost a few bucks and take minutes to install, it’s kind of a no-brainer.
2. Dress Appropriately
Seems kind of obvious, but it’s not something I used to do. Turns out that a lot of people are the same (not a scientific study, I just asked some friends 🙂 ) In the winter, I used to crank the heat up super-high so I could wear shorts and a t-shirt around the house. Now, I set the thermostat a few degrees cooler and dress appropriately for the season – i.e. I wear sweatpants and a long-sleeved top. Too easy.
3. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
We used to have the standard light bulbs throughout our house, and it seemed like we were changing out one of them every week. Not only was it a hassle having to constantly get the ladder out (we have pretty high ceilings,) it was getting expensive. We decided to make the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and I’m so glad we did. I can’t remember the last time we had to change a light bulb (energy-efficient light bulbs last way longer than standard light bulbs) and energy-efficient light bulbs also save power. Saving power=saving money.
These are the energy efficient light bulbs we installed in the house. Instead of going through and immediately replacing all of our regular light bulbs, we just waited until one naturally went out, and then replaced it with an energy-efficient bulb. (I didn’t see the point in wasting a working light bulb.)
4. Wash A Full Load Of Clothes In Cold Water
Washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot water will instantly save you money. Also, instead of doing multiple small loads, wait until you have enough clothes to do a full load. Smaller loads cost the same amount of money per cycle, so it makes sense to wait until you have enough dirty clothes to fill the washing machine.
5. Line Dry Your Clothes
Yes, line drying your clothes isn’t as convenient as shoving them straight into the dryer. I definitely don’t line dry everything, and I don’t use the line dryer all the time. But it does provide some good savings (and it’s gentler on clothes than a dryer,) so I try to use it as often as I can.
This portable line dryer folds flat so you can just slide it next to your washing machine when you’re not using it.
6. Use Draft Blockers
Remember those “snakes” you used to use to pop your sister on the butt with when she annoyed you? No? Just me? Anyway, turns out those fabric snakes actually serve another purpose – they block drafts from underneath the door. This stops hot air escaping and cold air entering, which saves money on heating costs. You can get them here.
7. Use A Power Strip
Did you know that electronics like your phone charger are still using power, even if your phone isn’t actually plugged in? Power sucks like these can vastly increase your power bill. Unplugging them is the obvious answer, but this smart power strip automates that process for you by automatically powering off devices that aren’t in use. It’s pretty genius and it helps save a ton of money. You can grab one for around $25 here.
8. Check Your Refrigerator Seal
Your refrigerator is one of the appliances that you can’t turn off, so it’s important to make sure it’s using the least amount of power possible. A common way that refrigerators use up extra electricity is by not having strong enough seals. Make sure you check that the door seals around your refrigerator are tight and gap-free, to make sure that cold air isn’t escaping.
9. Use Fans Instead Of The Airconditioner
Fans are a lot cheaper to run than an airconditioner (in fact, using a fan over an air conditioner can save you over 20%!) Not only that, using your air conditioner less will prolong the life of it, and trust me – air conditioners aren’t cheap to replace (we’re talking thousands of dollars.) If you don’t have ceiling fans, you can pick up a cheap portable fan for around $25 here.
10. Change Your Air Filters
Despite the fact that they’re pretty pricey, regularly changing your air filters will actually save you money. Dirty air filters mean that your air conditioning unit has to work harder. Not only will this increase your power bill, it will also mean that your unit is more likely to break down which equals an expensive repair bill.
(If you forget to regularly change your air filters (*raises hand) then Amazon has a subscribe and save option, which means that you’ll automatically get air filters sent straight to your home, and you’ll save up to 15%. You can find out more about that here.)
By implementing these 10 easy tips, you’ll notice a significant reduction in your utility bill. Even implementing a few of them will save you money! Do you have any other tips to reduce your electric bill? Please let me know!