5 “Cheap” Upgrades To Your Home That Will Also Cut Electric Bills
Summer is just around the corner! That means sunny skies, warmer temperatures and unfortunately, higher electric bills. Or does it? Lower your electric bill year-round with these easy and cheap home upgrades:
Replace the thermostat.
Obviously, running the thermostat throughout the day will increase your electric bill, but why would getting a new thermostat reduce it? Newer thermostat models are programmable, meaning you can tell the thermostat to automatically turn off while you’re at work or on vacation. Older models that do not have this feature will run throughout the day when the heating or cooling is not even needed, wasting energy and increasing your electric bill every second. Luckily, replacing a thermostat is an easy project that can be done on your own in just a few steps.
Change your lighting.
Did you know that lighting is responsible for over one-third of the energy used in the home? That means that making small changes to your lighting can have a major impact on your electric bill. Over the last few years, LED lights have quickly become the popular, eco-friendly lighting choice. Switching the bulbs in your home to energy-efficient LED lights can help you slash your electric bill by as much as 25%! But, that’s not the only way to cut back on your lighting expenses. When it’s sunny outside, pull back the drapes or open the blinds to take advantage of natural lighting instead of relying on electric-powered overhead lights.
Even if you turn off devices when they’re not in use, they will still consume energy if they remain plugged into an electrical outlet. These devices are called phantom loads, and they’re located everywhere throughout the home, from the DVD player to the computer printer. In fact, these phantom load devices can account for 15% of your energy bill!
To lower your electric bill, invest in a few power strips throughout your home. This way, you can plug the majority of your devices into each power strip, and turn them all completely off at once with just a flip of one switch. This will prevent phantom loads from wasting energy and increasing your electric bill.
A quick and cheap way to save money on your electric bill is to install some sort of window treatment, whether it is blinds or drapery. Use these window treatments to block the heat from the sun from entering your home during the summer, reducing the need for you to cool your home with your electric cooling system.
Replace old appliances.
Old appliances can consume much more energy than is necessary, so if it’s in your budget, consider upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient models. If you can only afford to swap out one or two appliances, the first priority should be the refrigerator, since this appliance consumes the highest amount of energy. Speaking of refrigerators, if you have two in your home, consider scaling back to only one by getting rid of items that you don’t ever use to clear up space.
With these cheap and easy upgrades, you’ll be able to lower your electric bill, save money and live greener!