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Money

10 ways cut your energy bill when you’re spending more time at home

With families staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, household energy use is surging. Unfortunately, the higher electric bills come at a time when people are already financially strapped.

Although utility companies and other organizations around the nation offer assistance to those who need help paying their monthly energy bills, it does not address one’s mounting usage. Expecting a stimulus check? Tap or click to learn how much money you’re entitled to.

Luckily there are several ways you can reduce your energy bill without much sacrifice.

1. Change the time you do laundry

A few energy companies charge their customers less during certain times of the day, typically between 10 pm and 8 am. If you save high-energy tasks like laundry and running the dishwasher for these non-peak hours, you can save several dollars on your monthly electric bill.

For consumers who pay a flat rate, there are other measures you can implement.

2. Turn your water heater down

The Department of Energy reports that turning down your water heater to under 120 degrees can save you almost 10% on your energy bill, no matter if your heater is electric or gas.

Not only will a cooler water temp save you some bucks, but shorten your shower by just two minutes and you can cut your water usage by 10 gallons of water.

3. Run energy-saving cycles or modes

If your appliances are certified energy efficient, you are well on your way to saving money on your electric bill. You can further reduce the cost by using energy-saving cycles like ‘light wash’ on your dishwasher or the cold water/cool air options on your washer and dryer.

If your dishwasher doesn’t have an air-dry setting, crack open your dishwasher door and let your dishes air-dry instead of using the costlier heat-dry cycle.

4. Hang your clothes to dry

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a clothes dryer consumes more energy than your washer, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Instead of relying on this energy hog, give it a break and air-dry your freshly laundered wet clothes.

Whether it be a full outdoor clothesline, portable indoor dryer rack or the backs of chairs, hanging your clothes to dry can help you recognize energy savings.

5. Skip the oven and grill outside

Leave the oven off and cook your meals outdoors on your grill, weather providing, of course. This move will not only save you money on your utilities, but it will get you outside in the fresh air. And, because you could use a good laugh, tap or click to reveal how a squeaky oven went viral.

6. Use smart power strips

Ever heard of vampire electronics? They are devices in a standby mode that continue to consume energy. Thankfully, today’s smart power strips can detect these power suckers and cut off electricity to them, preventing you from racking up excessive energy costs.

In addition, you can manage smart power strips remotely via either an app or smart assistant, ensuring you greater control over when your devices are on or off.

7. Check your weather stripping and seals.

Sealing up drafty windows and doors can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling bills. If you have existing weatherstripping in your home, inspect it occasionally to ensure it is correctly applied, in good condition and free of gaps or cracks.

8. Set your thermostat

Whether you still rely on your furnace this time of year or have moved to air conditioning, a decrease in usage of your HVAC system can save 10% off your heating and cooling by adjusting your thermostat back 7-10 degrees. During warmer months, increase the temp, colder months, lower the temp.

An easy way to help you maintain lower energy consumption is a smart thermostat. You can set heating/cooling schedules, adjust the temperature from anywhere, and create a report to visualize your usage.

9. Use smart LED light bulbs

Replacing old incandescent bulbs for LED smart light bulbs can save your household hundreds each year on your electric bill. In addition to being cost-efficient, smart bulbs offer an array of features including the ability to be managed remotely, they can change colors, and some have built-in speakers allowing the bulbs to play music.

Smart bulbs are the tip of the iceberg. Tap or click to discover how big tech wants to make all your smart home devices work together.

10. Look at your home energy report

When you think you have adjusted or changed all possible settings and practices to make a difference in your energy bill, get a home energy report from your provider. This information can help you determine areas that need attention and typically includes a detailed analysis of your home’s energy usage and a comparison to similar homes.

Although your energy usage will increase when you and your loved ones are at home 24/7, implement a few of these tips and you can save on your energy bill.

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