BKV Energy’s ultimate guide to reducing your electric bill. Follow these steps to spend less on energy.
Warm Weather Energy Saving Tips
Keep Cool and Reduce Your Energy Bill During the Summer
1. Shut the curtains or blinds on the hottest days of the year to prevent heat from entering the house through the windows. This especially applies to south and west facing windows that receive the most sun during the warmest hours of the day.
2. Turn up the thermostat to 78-80 degrees during the day. The closer your indoor temperature is to the outdoors, the less energy your air conditioner will use to keep your home cool.
3. Turn the thermostat above 80 degrees if your home will be empty for 4 or more hours. It requires more energy to keep your home cool while you’re out (and no one is there to enjoy the AC) than to cool it again when you return.
4. Utilize your ceiling fans, but remember to turn them off once you leave the room. Fans cool people, not rooms.
5. Don’t have ceiling fans in your home? Consider investing in portable or tabletop fans to keep you cool so you can keep the thermostat set higher and use less energy on air conditioning.
6. Cover your pans while you cook on the stove to release less heat into the air. This makes your air conditioner work harder to maintain the temperature in your home.
7. Save heat and humidity generating activities such as cooking, laundry, and dishwashing for the early morning or late in the evening.
8. Remember that setting your thermostat extra low does not help cool your home faster, but it will consume more energy. Reduce the temperature at a steady rate instead.
Cold Weather Energy Saving Tips
Stay Warm and Lower Your Electricity Spending During Winter
9. Ensure that the flue in your fireplace is shut when you are not using the fireplace to prevent cold drafts from entering the house.
10. Keep the curtains or blinds open on sunny days to warm the air inside your home naturally using the sun’s rays.
11. Set the thermostat to 68-70 degrees. Instead of relying on the furnace alone, dress warmly or get cozy with underneath a blanket.
12. During those cloudy winter days, shut the curtains and blinds to help contain the warm air inside.
13. Entertaining a large gathering at your home? Drop the thermostat a few degrees and rely on body heat to bring the temperature back up when everyone arrives.
14. Keep the thermostat at your regular settings when you leave the house for 4 or more hours. It requires more energy to heat your home when you come back than to maintain the temperature.
15. Avoid portable heaters because they consume a lot of energy to warm a small space. They will add a lot usage to your bill.
16. Avoid using the bathroom exhaust fan during the winter. The water vapor from the shower helps humidify your home and that helps keep things warmer.
Kitchen Energy Saving Tips
Consume Less Electricity to Keep Your Food Fresh
17. Try to avoid opening the refrigerator door more than you need to – plan your trips to the fridge!
18. Clean the dust from the coils on the bottom or the back of the refrigerator to enhance the appliance’s cooling efficiency.
19. Allow hot foods or drinks to cool before placing them in the refrigerator.
20. Check the seals on your refrigerator doors and replace if they are broken or ripped.
21. Set the refrigerator between 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit.
22. Set the freezer around 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
23. Clean out the refrigerator to reduce clutter and increase interior circulation.
Washing the Dishes with Less Energy
24. Only run the dishwasher when the machine is full, but make sure not to overload the appliance with dishes.
25. Air dry your dishes instead of using the heat dry setting on the dishwasher.
26. If available, set the dishwasher to ECO mode before running a cycle.
Cooking More Efficiently
27. Try not to open the oven door to check on cooking progress. Instead, utilize the oven light, but remember to turn the light off when you are finished with your check in.
28. Avoid using the broiler in the oven too often. This cooking setting consumes much more energy.
29. When you can, cook your food in the microwave. Microwaves ovens consume less energy than regular ovens.
30. When cooking on an electric stove, try turning off the burners before you are finished cooking. The plans will retain heat with the burners off and continue to cook your food.
31. Don’t forget to turn off the kitchen exhaust fan after unwanted odors have dissipated.
32. Clean your garbage disposal regularly so it requires less energy to operate when you turn it on.
34. Lower the temperature settings on your water heater.
35. Shower with colder water so your water heater consumes less energy.
36. Take shorter showers.
37. Turn off the tap while scrubbing soap on your hands and brushing your teeth.
38. Repair leaking faucets and pipes to reduce warm water leaks which increase water heater energy usage.
39. Turn off the exhaust fan in your bathroom after unwanted water vapors have been removed. During the winter, use the exhaust fan sparingly, if at all.
40. Upgrade to a tankless water heater. They are 35-45% more energy efficient and never run out of hot water.
Electronics & Appliances Energy Saving Tips
Use Less Energy with Your Electronic Devices at Home
41. Plug your electronics into power strips and turn the power strip when the electronics are not in use. Electronics plugged directly into the wall are always drawing power, even when turned off.
42. Turn down the brightness settings on your televisions to reduce the energy used while you watch TV.
43. Turn down the brightness on your desktop computer. (This is also better for your eyes and sleeping habits.)
44. Watching the same television show as a housemate or family member? Schedule time to watch together instead of separately to reduce the amount of time the TV is on.
45. Relaxing at home? Pull out a book to read instead of switching on the TV.
46. Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer because they don’t need to be plugged in 100% of the time.
47. Buy portable solar battery charging packs to charge your phones, laptops, and tablets. You would never need to use your home’s energy to power your devices again!
48. Unplug your devices once they are finished charging.
49. Turn off and unplug all lights and electronics when you leave for vacation.
Doing the Laundry
50. Check the laundry in the dryer before the timer goes off. It’s possible your laundry is already dry before the system finished the cycle. Considering upgrading to a dryer with an automated moisture sensor so the machine stops on its own.
51. Clean out the lint filter before each use of the dryer.
52. Wash your laundry with cold water.
53. Hang dry laundry under the sun.
54. Only run the washer and dryer with a full load of laundry, but make sure not to overload the barrels.
55. Invest in Energy Star rated washer and dryer sets.
Lighting Energy Saving Tips
Tips to Save on Lighting Inside and Outside
56. Switch from regular on/off light switches to dimmer switches so you can control the brightness of your bulbs. Lower intensity brightness consumes less electricity.
57. Replace chandeliers with lighting fixtures that have fewer bulbs.
58. Turn the lights off when you leave the room.
59. Dust your light bulbs to increase their efficiency.
60. Switch from incandescent to LED light bulbs.
61. Replace exterior lights with solar powered models.
62. Check that your light bulbs do not exceed the recommend wattage of each individual socket.
63. Take advantage of natural lighting when you can instead of using electricity. Especially during the spring and fall when temperatures outdoors are milder.
64. Use LED lights for your exterior holiday decorations.
65. Use a timer to control when your holiday lights turn on and off.
HVAC Energy Saving Tips
Spend Less Money on Heating and Cooling
66. Make sure all air vents are not blocked by furniture to encourage better airflow and system efficiency.
67. Replace or clean dirty air filters regularly.
68. Have you heating and cooling system inspected by a professional each spring and fall to prepare for the upcoming seasons.
69. Check that your outdoor HVAC units are in the shade. If they aren’t, consider planting a tree or building a fence to shade them from the sun.
79. Apply weather stripping to your doors and windows to prevent and seal leaks that weaken your HVAC energy efficiency.
80. Increase the level of insulation in your attic.
81. Insulate crawl spaces beneath your floors.
82. Fill drafts underneath exterior doors with door snakes.
83. Cover bare floors with rugs or carpeting to add more insulation to the home.
84. Keep doors inside your home open to maximize interior air flow.
85. Install shutters on your windows so you can block more heat during the summer and reduce the energy your air conditioner uses to keep your home cool.
86. Consider replacing older doors with newer, energy efficient models that help regulate indoor temperatures better.
87. Upgrade your single pane windows to double or triple pane.
88. Plant trees and shrubs around the exterior of your home to add shade. Especially around south and west facing windows.
89. Replacing your roof? Consider a metal roof or a light colored tile or shingle roof. These styles reflect more of the sun’s rays back into the sky rather than absorbing and heating your home during the summer.
90. If your garage is attached to your home, remember to close the door.
91. Look into installing solar panels to power your home with renewable energy.
92. Reduce your energy bill even further by enrolling in a solar buyback plan which allows you to sell excess electricity back to the grid.
93. Install patio covers and awnings to shade your doors and windows from the sun.
94. Install screens or films to your windows to reduce the impact of the sun’s rays.
Lifestyle Energy Saving Tips
Simple Changes to Your Habits
95. Spend more time outdoors. Go for a walk, jog, or a bike ride. Have a picnic under a tree at a nearby park.
96. Place lamps in a corner instead of against a flat wall. This way, the light reflects off two walls. You can rely on fewer lights this way.
97. Consider downsizing your living situation to a smaller home. After all, smaller homes use much less energy.
98. Educate your family and household about energy saving measures so everyone joins in.
99. Reward children for following energy saving hacks.
The Easiest Way to Estimate Your Energy Bill Learning how to calculate or estimate your electricity bill is a great way to understand your home’s energy consumption, the costs associated, and how to reduce those costs. You can calculate your Texas electric bill by multiplying your kWh usage by sum…
Looking to decrease your electricity bills? There are many behavior changes you can make like turning the lights off when you leave a room or setting the thermostat higher in the summer. But changes like these can you get you so far. To make a bigger dent in your energy…
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