We see it all the time, electric bills that are just way too high even though you think you’re doing everything right. We get it, and we want to help.  Here are some helpful tips for lowering your energy usage.

Seal all possible air leaks and insulate your home

Air can find its way through the smallest of gaps, so if you want to keep your heated or cooled air inside your home, then you need to make sure you seal everything.  Common culprits are windows and doors without weather stripping or proper caulking, but you don’t want to forget about checking your attic, basement, or crawlspace for leaks. Homeowners typically save up to $200 a year in heating and cooling costs by air-sealing their homes and adding insulation.  While you’re looking at sealing your windows, you may want to consider eventually replacing them with Energy Star-certified windows that can reduce your energy bill by an average of 12%!

Use energy-efficient lighting

Lighting has come a long way in energy conservation, but it only works if you update those old fixtures and bulbs!  Energy Star certified fixtures use 75% less energy and Energy Star certified light bulbs use 70-90% less energy.  On top of that, Energy Star certified bulbs last 10-25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.  And above all, turn off lights when you don’t need them; it costs almost $20 a year to leave one light on for 8 hours a day. 

Use Energy Star-certified appliances and fixtures

There are Energy Star certified versions of almost every appliance in your home.  If you are in the market for a new large appliance such as a dishwasher, washer/dryer, or even a pool pump, choosing a certified one will save you energy and money.  A dishwasher that has been certified can cost less than $35 a year to run, not to mention they typically use less water too.  Dishwashers aren’t the only ones saving water; certified washing machines use 35% less energy and water.  If you want to save even more, 90% of the energy that goes into operating a washing machine is for heating the water.  There are formulated detergents available for cold water washing.  The second step in doing laundry, drying, can also be a big energy drainer without the right equipment.  Replacing your old clothes dryer with an Energy Star certified model can save you $245 a year.  If you think that’s a big savings, a certified pool pump is about 70% more efficient than conventional models and can save you up to $340 a year!  But don’t think it’s only large appliances that can save you money; there are Energy Star certified computers, monitors, printers, network equipment, DVD players, sound systems and the list goes on and on!  All of these small appliances run anywhere between 20-65% more efficiently.  They may seem small, but it all can add up to a big utility bill!  It’s also a good idea to plug these small items into a power strip that you can switch off when not in use, this will stop the electricity trickle that appliances pull when they are off but still plugged in.

Heating and cooling

The first step to saving on heating and cooling is getting a programmable thermostat.  When properly used, these can save you about $180 a year.  Making sure that you take care of your HVAC equipment is critical.  Make sure your filters are clean, there’s good airflow around the outdoor components, and a professional gives it a good tune up annually to keep it at peak performance.  An HVAC system that has to work harder uses more energy.  If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, look for one that is Energy Star certified.  And when possible, use a certified ceiling fan so you can turn down your air conditioner.

Install solar

Installing solar is on this list because even if you do all the things listed above, eventually, the utility rates will increase and your energy bill will creep up again despite you doing everything right.  Utilities go up an average of 4% every year.  If you have solar, those rate increases don’t affect you because you are generating your own power.  

We want everyone to be as energy efficient as possible so we hope that you’ll try some of the tips we shared! You can call 1-844-SUN-EASY to learn what installing solar could do for you!