Have you noticed that your summer electric bill has become especially high? Want to save some money with a few lifestyle changes? Check out these four easy ways to cut down on your costs and your carbon footprint.
1. Address the “energy vampires” in your home
Many people believe that electronics/appliances stop using power when they aren’t being used. These items actually continue to drain power as long as they are plugged into a source. Referred to as “energy vampires”, these plugged-in electronics - which range from phone chargers to microwaves to coffee pots - can use substantial amounts of power, consequently adding to your electric bill. A quick fix that prevents you from having to run around plugging and unplugging appliances all day is to plug these electronics into a surge protector or an outlet connected to a wall switch. When the switch is turned off, there is no power for the electronics to drain, even if they remain plugged in.
2. If you want/need an AC unit, consider a heat pump instead
Heat pumps, while a bit costly to install, act as both an air conditioning and heating unit for your home. Heating pumps rely entirely on electricity and are extremely efficient in converting energy to heat or AC. They will reduce your household’s carbon emissions considerably. In fact, coupled with solar applications, heat pumps have the potential for zero net energy. The energy efficient pump can last up to 50 years and could save you up to $1,700 a year.
3. Change your laundry habits
Your laundry habits can change as the seasons do. While the frigid temperatures of the winter months encourage the use of heat in both washer and dryer, the warmth of the summer invites a change. Try using cold water in the washer - it uses less energy than warm water and is a crucial step to cutting down that high electric bill. Also, if you are able, you could deem your dryer unnecessary. Take advantage of the sun and warm temperatures and hang your laundry outside where it will dry just as well, if a bit slower. Just don’t forget to unplug your dryer - it’s an energy vampire.
4. Switch out your light bulbs - it’s time
Standard light bulbs are a thing of the past. Try replacing them with Compact Fluorescents or LEDs. These bulbs are much more efficient and have a significantly longer lifespan. They also emit less heat energy than traditional light bulbs, which can be an added bonus in the summertime. Each compact fluorescent bulb can save you up to $50 over the course of its life, and you will find yourself needing to replace them less often.
If you're thinking about buying or selling a home in the Greater Augusta area, contact Blanchard & Calhoun Real Estate today. We're here to help you!