Easy DIY Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill
Reducing the amount of electricity you consume has a direct relative impact on the cost of your utility bill. There are many DoItYourself ways to save energy and save you some cash in the process. The following projects can be accomplished in less than a day by even the most inexperienced of handymen and handywomen.
Replace Outdated and Inefficient Lighting
You may have heard that regular incandescent light bulbs are following VCRs and cassette players into the void of forgotten technology. That’s because regular incandescent light bulbs are inefficient and are not very long lasting. Halogen, CFL, and LED light bulbs use significantly less electricity and have longer lifespans. Halogen bulbs, when compared to a similar 2,000 hour life incandescent bulb, can be up to 40% more effective.
The downside is that the level of heat thrown off by this type of light bulb can be hazardous in certain situations. Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use a fluorescent tube that is spiraled into the size and shape of a standard light bulb. They use about 20 to 33% of the energy that standard bulbs use and can last up to fifteen times longer. This is one of the most commonly chosen alternatives to incandescent lighting. Some worry about the small amount of mercury contained in Compact Fluorescent Lamps, which can be a potential hazard. LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting has the advantage of containing no mercury or glass, and it emits no UV rays and almost no heat. LED also has a very long lifespan. The only problem is that it doesn’t support electronic circuitry. Replacing your current incandescent lighting with one of these options is an easy DIY that will immediately reduce your energy consumption and save you money.
Compare Energy Providers
One quick and easy way you can save money on your electric bill is to spend a few minutes in front of your computer doing a little research. Sites like www.localelectricitycompanies.com compare companies in your ZIP code so you can find the one that offers the best rates and deals. It can pay to shop around, especially when you consider that many companies will offer special lockedin rates to consumers who switch over from another provider. Just a few minutes online can save you money.
Check and Install Weather Stripping
The greatest portion of your utility bill is spent on heating and cooling; hot and cold air seeping in through worn or missing weather stripping can be costing you bigtime. Check the weather stripping around doors and windows annually to put the kibosh on air leaks. Installing and replacing weather stripping is a fairly easy project that can be done in an afternoon.
The quickest and easiest DIY option is peel and stick weatherstripping. If you currently have peel and stick weather stripping that needs to be replaced, simply pull the old strips off and clean the area well so that the new strips will have a smooth, clean surface to adhere to. Follow the instructions on the product exactly to ensure that your weather stripping will adhere properly and work as it is intended. Most weather stripping with adhesive backing needs to be installed when temperatures are above 50 degrees, so keep that in mind and schedule your inspection accordingly.
Change Air Filters on Your HVAC
Dirty air filters on your heat pump or furnace can cause the system to work improperly, resulting in higher bills for you. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system can optimize its lifespan, improve operation, and cut electricity consumption. Check your product manual and buy and install new air filters as recommended, generally every three months.
Quick DIY projects, such as switching out light bulbs, changing an air filter and shopping around can save you money on your electric bill now and in the future.