Whether you live in a place with extreme heat like Miami, Florida, or in the cold reaches of Alberta, Canada, researching energy plans in your area is a good idea. Finding the right plan can help you save on energy costs. When it comes to making better energy-saving decisions for your home, there are a few other things that you should know.
Run Your Appliances at the Best Time
Surprisingly, specific times of day are better to run your appliances than others. The reason is that utility companies charge a higher rate for energy that you use during peak hours. However, when is the best time to run your appliances to save money on your energy bill?
Naturally, utility companies charge higher rates when you use electricity while the power grid is under heavy demand. For example, more people run their dishwashers when they get home from work or right after lunch.
If you want to save money, use large appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, after 7 p.m. Avoid running them at around noon, which is when the power grid is under the heaviest demand.
Likewise, you can save even more money if you unplug energy-sucking devices during peak hours. Modems, laptops and coffee makers continue to consume power even when they aren’t in use. Try unplugging these devices when you leave for work or aren’t at home to save even more money.
Choose Gas Appliances Over Electric
Switching electric appliances, such as the kitchen range and clothes dryer, to gas can reduce your overall energy consumption. One reason is that natural gas is almost always cheaper than electricity, according to Consumer Affairs. In fact, it found that switching to gas appliances decreases utility bills by nearly 30%.
Another reason why natural gas saves on energy costs is that it heats faster. Electric ranges, for instance, have to gradually heat up. With gas ranges, the heat is instant when you turn it on. This means that you’ll run a gas stove and oven less to cook the same food.
In most cases, gas appliances cost about the same as their electric counterparts. In addition, they’re easier to maintain and have lower maintenance costs. Thus, you’ll save money on keeping your appliances up and running as well.
Switch to LED Bulbs
Most homes use a lot of energy on lighting. However, you can reduce the amount of energy that you use when you switch all of your bulbs to LED lights. However, why do LED bulbs save so much money? After all, the upfront cost is much higher than traditional bulbs.
One reason is that LED bulbs last around 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. While the initial cost is higher, they save you money in the long run because you don’t have to buy bulbs as often.
Also, LED bulbs use a lot less electricity than incandescent bulbs. As a result, you won’t just save money on buying fewer bulbs. You’ll save money on your energy bill right away since they use far less electricity.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Are you looking for an investment that can easily pay for itself? If so, invest in a smart thermostat. Once again, the upfront cost of installing one is a bit pricey. However, the amount that you save with a smart thermostat pays for itself.
With a smart thermostat, you can easily control your home’s HVAC system even when you’re away. During the summer, for example, you don’t have to keep your home cool when you aren’t there to enjoy it. You can turn the temperature up while you’re gone and lower it when you’re on your way home. Then, you still enjoy a nice cool house when you get home without paying for all-day cooling.
Of course, this method also works for heating your house. There’s no reason to heat it while you aren’t there. Using a smart thermostat, you can control the temperature with your smartphone or tablet no matter where your are.
Start making smarter energy-saving decisions today by using these tips. Making the right choices when it comes to energy usage not only saves you money but also lowers your carbon footprint.