How do you cut energy costs? Step one…unplug the appliance. If you are not using it, unplug it. Yes, that is inconvenient, but if you want to save money, you have to make some kind of effort to translate a bit of inconvenience into dollars saved. You know that red light that shines on some appliances or heaters when they are plugged in, but not being used? That red light means money is flowing out of your pocket into the electric company’s pocket. It may be a small amount, but all those small amounts add up.
Before you purchase a new item, consider the energy rating. Many larger appliances come with energy ratings. If you are considering an air conditioning installation, trying to get some statistics on the energy consumption of the unit would be a good idea before making your purchase.
Turn off lights. How many times do you walk out of a room without turning off the light? Turn them off when you walk out of the room. Turn them on when you walk back into the room. Consistently doing this, and insisting that everyone one else in the house or business do this as well, will help trim down the electric bill.
In the summer, a large amount of electric cost can be due to air conditioning use. If you can turn up the thermostat in summer a couple of degrees and still be comfortable, you can save some money. Likewise, in winter, if you can turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees, you can also save money. If you purchase a thermostat that is programmable, you can regulate when the air conditioner turns on and off. If you are at work all day, you don’t need it to be as cool in summer (or warm in winter) as when you are home. Of course, you do want it cool enough to keep the electronics within the safe zone. Electronics are great, but they don’t like heat. However, don’t turn your thermostat up and down. Find a temperature that works for you, and leave it there, or program it according to when you are at home or away.
Another thing than can help with air conditioning costs is the roof. If you have a metal roof, or tile room, it reflects the sun and also cools more quickly at night. If you landscape with trees that will block the wind in the winter or the sun’s rays in the summer, this can also lead to lower energy costs.
In addition, you can do winterize your home in winter. Use weather stripping. Stop drafts. There may be cracks around windows or small holes around plumbing pipes. All these tiny airways let cold air in during the winter. There are also curtains available that help keep out the cold out in the winter and the heat out in the summer. All these things contribute to lower energy costs.
Lower your water heater thermostat, but not any lower than 120 degrees. You will still have hot water, but at a savings.
If you are really serious about reducing energy costs, you can have an energy audit done on your home or place of business. Sometimes these are available from the energy company. Other times there are professionals available for hire who can do these audits. Your local air conditioner service company might be able to help you regarding the costs of running the air conditioner. An audit will really help you nail what exactly is going into your electric bill and give you the facts you need to make decisions to improve the situation. Finally, if you have an option as to which energy provider you can choose, you may want to shop around for the one that is best for you.