8 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill in Texas
January 10th is known as Cut Your Energy Costs Day, a day to encourage homeowners to use less energy and save money at the same time. For Texas property owners, this can be an excellent opportunity for you to free up some cash, especially with the Texas property tax bill deadline approaching at the end of January. Keep reading to learn 8 simple ways to lower your energy bill and save money.
1. Adjust Your Thermostat
Did you know that adjusting your thermostat to a lower temperature or turning it off when you leave your home can help save energy and money? According to Energy Star, you could save up to 10% in cooling and heating costs a year just by reversing your thermostat 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day. For areas that have peak electric rates during certain hours of the day, you may save even more by reducing your electric heating or cooling during those hours.
2. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Most homeowners leave their water heater on the default setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit; however, decreasing the default temperature on your water heater by about 20 degrees can save you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, when you lower your water temperature by 20 degrees, you can save up to 10% on your electric bill each year. If a household member has a suppressed immune system or respiratory disease, it may be safer to keep it at 140 degrees to possible bacteria.
3. Turn Off Lights
A simple energy-saving habit that many people forget is turning off your lights before leaving the room. If you’re curious about how much money you can save by doing this, calculate the power being used up by each bulb through its kilowatt rating and compare it to your electricity bill. Each light bulb you switch off for an hour can save you money. Take this day to consciously turn off all your lights when they are no longer needed.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Washer or Dryer Machine Loads
Washers and dryers use about the same amount of electricity to wash a small load as they do a full load. You can avoid draining your energy bill by making sure your washer or dryer is fully loaded to get your entire use out of them. You’d be surprised by how much money you can save by making it a habit to use these appliances only when necessary. And in the drier parts of the state, hang-drying laundry is a great way to save money!
5. Take Shorter, Cooler Showers
There’s nothing like a long hot shower, but did you know that your shower habits could be costing you? To save water, energy, and money, aim for shorter shower times. A helpful way to do this is by setting a timer for less time than you would usually shower for and making it a new habit. Another way to save energy is to reduce the water temperature during your shower. If you do both, you can save more.
6. Check for Proper Insulation
When was the last time you checked your windows for any drafts or leaks that might be letting in airflow? If you suspect your windows have any leaks, you’ll want to resolve this issue as it could be increasing your energy bill. You can make sure your home is properly insulated either by replacing your windows with new ones or by fixing the gaps with caulking. This will stop the hot air from entering your home and the cool air from escaping, keeping your A/C from going into overdraft which is especially helpful in the warmer months. Your utility company may have a program available to help you check for leaks.
7. Switch Out Lightbulbs
If you are using normal light bulbs in your home, try switching them out for LED bulbs. These bulbs can seem pricier but last much longer and are much cheaper than they were a few years ago. Unlike your regular incandescent light bulbs that use 90% of energy as heat, LEDs emit little heat and use less energy, according to the U.S Department of Energy. It’s a simple switch that can make a big impact on your energy bill.
8. Turn Off or Unplug Unused Appliances
We all know that appliances use energy when they are turned on, but did you know they still use up energy even when they’re off? Unplugging appliances such as coffee makers, TVs, hairdryers, etc., while they are no longer in use can help save on your electric bill. An easy trick to turn off all appliances at once is to connect them to a power strip that has an on and off button. This will keep your cords organized and make it convenient to turn off many appliances at once.
At Johnson & Starr, we encourage taking today as an opportunity to make impactful changes in your home that will help you to save money over time and reduce your electric bill. Taking these simple steps can help you become more aware of the amount of energy you use throughout the day and impact your home savings.