Cutting Costs On Home Energy
Apart from your mortgage or rent payment, the biggest expense you have in your home is probably your energy bill. The ups and downs of your consumption of electricity probably contribute to a lot of financial anxiety in your life.
It’s one of those things that you need to take control of before things get out of hand. A high power bill is a cost you’ve already incurred; it won’t get any smaller if you make changes later. You need to make adjustments in your life before you get that unpleasant surprise in the mail. Here are some tips for reducing energy consumption in your home.
Reduce Your Rates
In the last few years, many electrical markets have been deregulated. Customers there can get rates from several different power providers and buy from the one they like best. Texas is one such market, and the change has given residents in cities like Houston and Dallas power to choose who gets their electricity dollar.
Check this option right away. If you’re paying less per unit of electricity, your bill will go down before you make the first change in your home. It’s well worth the research and the process of changing over because it doesn’t require you or your family to adjust anything in your daily life. But that comes next.
The best way to cut energy use is to use an appliance less. There are lots of gadgets to simplify this process, but good habits will help too. Remember that while your refrigerator is using some electricity 24/7, it uses more when you open the door. If you organize your refrigerator efficiently, the open-door time will be reduced. Keep your most commonly-used items in view and within reach of kids, if they need them. Time spent moving items to access something in the rear is time that the refrigerator is losing cold air.
Ovens are the same way. Once it has preheated to the correct temperature, get your food in and start cooking. It’s a waste of energy to let it sit empty at 350 or 400 degrees. And monitor food carefully to avoid cooking too long–a good strategy to avoid ruining dinner, too.
Perform Preventive Maintenance
It may not be a very glamorous strategy, but its value is undeniable. Dirt, dust, and even equipment malfunctions can bog down your appliances, increasing their power demands and attacking your bank account.
Clean is efficient. Have ductwork cleaned periodically, and replace furnace filters as the manufacturer recommends. These steps will not only save energy but also help improve indoor air quality. Keep obstructions away from areas where appliances require air circulation. Listen and watch for signs of mechanical problems; many appliances will function normally even as compressors or motors go bad. They’ll simply use more power to make up for it. The sooner you catch these issues, the sooner you can correct them.
Your car payment is the same each month. Your mortgage is the same. Your insurance and countless other expenses are predictable and steady. In the midst of this stability, your energy consumption can make a real guessing game of your monthly budget. With some good strategies and careful attention, you can really improve your standing at the power meter.