Simple Steps That Can Drastically Lower Your Energy Bill

Homeowner calculating his bills for energy, electricity, and gas on a calculator
Simple Steps That Can Drastically Lower Your Energy Bill

Energy bills can feel like a bottomless pit, quietly draining your wallet month after month. The worst part? You may not even realize you’re using so much energy! While you recognize that you’re using the AC a lot this summer, you may not have even thought about the fact that your phone charger plugged in all night sucks up energy even when it’s not charging anything. The good news is there are a surprising number of ways to slash your energy use without feeling like you’re making huge sacrifices. These simple steps can make a big difference, and the best part is that most of them don’t take too long or cost too much to do.

Request an Energy Audit

An energy audit is the first step to identifying areas where you can save. Conducted by professionals, this thorough inspection pinpoints leaks, drafts, and inefficient appliances. It’s like getting a health check-up for your home. The auditor will use tools like infrared cameras to detect issues invisible to the naked eye. They’ll assess your insulation levels, inspect your HVAC system, and evaluate your windows and doors.

By addressing these problem areas, you can reduce wasted energy and improve overall efficiency. Some fixes may be as simple as sealing gaps around windows or upgrading to energy-efficient lighting. Others might involve more significant investments, like adding insulation or replacing outdated appliances. Either way, an energy audit gives you a clear roadmap for where you’re lacking and how you can improve your energy usage.

Unplug Appliances You Don’t Use

Many appliances draw power even when they’re turned off, often referred to as “phantom” or “vampire” energy. This includes everything from phone chargers to coffee makers to TVs. Over time, these small energy drains add up, contributing to higher bills. Combat this by unplugging devices you don’t use regularly. For convenience, consider plugging multiple devices into a power strip, which you can switch off with a single click. Another option is using smart plugs that let you control outlets remotely via an app. 

Use Less Hot Water

Heating water accounts for a significant portion of household energy use. By simply adjusting your habits, you can make a noticeable difference. Start by lowering the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents overheating and reduces energy consumption without compromising comfort. Limit your use of hot water by taking shorter showers and opting for cold or warm settings on your washing machine. Installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators can also help, as they reduce water usage without affecting pressure. Small changes in your routine can also lead to significant savings over time.

Use Your Dishwasher More

Contrary to popular belief, dishwashers use less water and energy compared to hand-washing dishes. Modern dishwashers are designed to be highly efficient, cleaning dishes with minimal resources. Running a full load uses about half the water and one-sixth the energy of washing the same load by hand.

To maximize savings, scrape off food scraps instead of rinsing dishes before loading them. Use energy-saving settings, such as air drying instead of heat drying. Additionally, run your dishwasher during off-peak hours to take advantage of lower energy rates.

Only Use Your Heating and Cooling Systems When You’re at Home

Heating and cooling account for nearly half of the average home’s energy use. One of the best ways to cut down on these costs is to use these systems only when necessary. Invest in a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature based on your schedule. When you’re away or asleep, set it to lower heating or cooling settings to conserve energy. Close curtains and blinds during hot days to keep your home cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning. In winter, let in sunlight during the day and close curtains at night to retain heat. These practices, though simple, can have a substantial impact on your energy consumption.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Air Filters

Air filters play an important role in maintaining your HVAC system’s efficiency. Dirty or clogged filters force the system to work harder, consuming more energy. Changing your air filters every 1-3 months can improve airflow, reduce strain on the system, and enhance indoor air quality.

Consider using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which trap more dust, allergens, and pollutants. This keeps your HVAC system running smoothly and ensures a healthier environment for you and your family.

Energy Bill Too High? Find More Solutions With SGI Heating and Cooling

At SGI Heating and Cooling, we specialize in helping you improve indoor air quality and lower your energy bills. Our team provides solutions built around your home, from solutions for furnaces to AC maintenance and upgrades. We offer expert advice and services to ensure your home is as energy-efficient as possible. Trust us to help you create a comfortable, cost-effective living space.

Ready to start saving on your energy bills? Contact SGI Heating and Cooling today for personalized solutions that make a real difference.