Now that we have made it to December, you may have noticed an icy chill in the air. As the outdoor temps begin to tumble, you may be victim to a larger, more expensive electric bill, due to heating the apartment. There are a number of ways to stay warm this season without spending a fortune on electric heating, such as lighting a fire in the fireplace or wearing your winter apparel inside.
A cozy fireplace setting is nice, but walking around indoors in a heavy winter coat and galoshes all day to keep warm doesn’t sound all that appealing. You don’t need to give up warmth to save a buck– what you need to do are follow these tips to help trim your winter electric bill.
Clean the Furnace
A clean furnace can help you cut your electric bill in half. The furnace’s efficiency can increase by almost 50 percent, just by removing dirt and debris from the unit, according to a Consumer Energy report. Replacing the air filter every 60 days can also help with air circulation and better air quality. Check with maintenance about the last time your furnace, air ducts, and filter have been cleaned, before it gets too cold.
Lower the Thermostat
Cranking down the temperature in the apartment by 1 or 2 degrees can really help put some money back in your wallet. Another way to save is by adjusting the thermostat to “low” while you’re away and while sleeping. When you’re home and moving about, program your thermostat to a setting that is comfortable for you.
If you have pets at home, make sure you set the thermostat to a setting that is pleasant for them while you’re out.
When you’re going on an extended trip, like a family vacation, set the apartment at 56 degrees to avoid wasting heat and frozen pipes.
Wash Only Full Loads
Your dishwasher uses a lot of water and heat. Only begin your load when the dishwasher is completely full, and set it on the shortest cycle to reserve water. This will help lower your electric bill.
Same goes for washing clothes; only turn it on when the washing machine has a full load. During the wash cycle, stick to cold water along with a cold-water detergent for a better clean. When it’s time to dry, “auto dry” can help save electricity since it shuts off when it senses the clothes have fully dried. Remove dryer lint beforehand so the clothes can dry even faster.
Be Aware of the “Vampire” Electronics
There are tons of electronics that use up valuable electricity, even when not in use! “Vampire” gadgets as they're called, like TV’s and computers, suck up a lot of energy which can increase your electric bill. Smart power strips and surge suppressors can help save a household money by turning off the power outlet when it senses the electronics have gone into standby mode.
For a little extra savings on your monthly expense, unplug small kitchen appliances and cell or tablet chargers when not in use because they too siphon electricity.