With extreme weather creating unusually hot temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in the winter, homeowners and apartment dwellers are using more electricity to control their environment than ever before. As nearly all household expenses are on the rise, electric use adds up to create costly utility bills.
Thankfully, there's also more you can do to manage these costs. Let's take a look at what's eating your energy bills and what you can do to reduce electricity costs at home.
What's Using the Most Energy in Your Home?
Before you can reduce your energy expenses, it's helpful to know where most of your electricity is going. If you live in the South, most of your energy expenses are tied to your air conditioning unit. If you live in the Midwest or western states, air conditioning and heating consume the most energy.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the typical household uses about 11,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year. The most costly expenses include air conditioning, home heating, and water heating. Combined, they consume about 45% of energy costs annually. The next most costly energy users are household lights and the refrigerator, which consume another 17% of household energy annually. Televisions, computers, and clothes dryers consume another 12% of energy each year.
The remaining 25% of energy use comes from ceiling fans, kitchen appliances, washing machines, and items like separate freezers, hot tubs and dehumidifiers.
The Best Ways To Lower Your Energy Costs
Lowering your energy costs involves a few simple changes to the way you care for your home. Many of them do not involve any upfront costs, while some involve minimal expenses with quick returns on your investment.
Adjust Your Heating and Cooling
A quick way to lower your energy bill is to adjust the temperature on your thermostat. In the colder months, turn the heat down a few degrees from your normal settings. In the warmer months, turn your air conditioning temperature up from your typical setting. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adjusting the temperature by just one degree can save you roughly 1% on your bill for every eight hours your HVAC system runs.
Replace Your HVAC Filters
Along with adjusting your thermostat temperatures, replacing your HVAC filters can also reduce your energy costs. Filters collect dust and debris that floats around your ducts and furnace. When you leave the dirty filters in place, they limit the air flow to your furnace, thus reducing its efficiency and lowering your energy bill. Change your filters once per season to maximize your system's efficiency.
Clean Your Refrigerator and Dryer
Two of the biggest energy users outside of your HVAC system include your refrigerator and clothes dryer. Both collect dust, which reduces their efficiency and increases your bill. A few times each year, pull your refrigerator away from the wall and use your vacuum's hose to clean the dust off of the exterior coils.
Your dryer also needs regular maintenance to keep it running with minimal energy use. Remove lint from the lint trap every time you use it. A few times each year, clean the lint trap to completely clear residue from the mesh. Then, remove lint from the point where the duct and the dryer meet. Also, clean the lint from the exterior vent. These small steps help you lower your energy bill.
Help Reduce Electricity Costs at Home With Notion Smart Home Monitoring
When it comes to learning how to save on energy bill expenses, knowledge is power. With Notion Smart Home Monitoring systems, the sensors can help you monitor for doors/windows that have been left open that need to be closed while your air conditioning or heating is running. Notion temperature monitoring across your home can help inform you if your HVAC system is running inefficiently, and with Notion and IFTTT, you can get the most benefits out of your smart thermostat.
As one Notion user reported:
“We have an attic space that we need to pay attention to the temperature. Notion is great because it helps us monitor the temp in an easy fashion with the app as well as the temp alert / notification on your phone. Plus, we were able to put it next to the smoke alarm.”
Reduce Your Energy Costs With Simple Steps
With a few simple steps to curb your energy use — and a few smartly placed Notion Sensors — you can reduce your energy costs. Notion Sensors can help you better understand where you're wasting energy around your home so you can make better choices and see significant savings each month.