Quick Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill

bill. In the summer and winter, this figure can rise. While there’s no getting around an electric bill, there are several ways you can reduce it. Here are five quick and effortless things you can do to start using less electricity and lower your bill. Unplug Devices Leaving electronics plugged in all day can add hundreds of dollars to your electric bill. In fact, according to HowStuffWork’s money blog, continuously leaving devices plugged in for several hours amounts to around $100 per year.  Even seemingly small devices, such as cell phones and laptops, can use unnecessary energy and run up your bill. To put that $100 or so back in your bank account, get in the habit of unplugging small appliances when no one will be in the house for several hours. Energy experts also advise using a power strip, which is convenient for unplugging several devices at once. Use the Dryer Timer Running the dryer for hours is another sneaky way to increase to your monthly electric or gas bill. Sure—it’s convenient to load the dryer, turn it on for a few hours, and then walk away. By the time you return, your laundry is fried and your bill is sky high. Instead, use the timer on the dryer to use just enough energy to dry the load. Running the dryer in increments of 10 or 15 minutes will also reduce drying time. Replace Fancy Light Fixtures Fancy, multi-bulb light fixtures will definitely add character and ambience to any room. Unfortunately, they’ll also add to the electric bill. To start reducing the electric bill, simply remove a bulb or two from light fixtures in bathrooms, hallways and other areas that don’t require a lot of lighting. In the day time, rely on natural sunlight to brighten a room. It might also be a good investment to replace energy-draining light fixtures with simpler, cost-effective fixtures. Use the Dishwasher (or Wash by Hand) The dishwasher versus handwashing debate has been ongoing for years. Although a verdict hasn’t been reached, research suggests that using the dishwasher requires less energy. TreeHugger, a sustainability blog, says handwashing is more efficient if only a minimal (and seemingly impossible) amount of water is used. Personal finance blog The Simple Dollar declares handwashing as the cheaper dishwashing method. Energy Star, on the other hand, says certified Energy Star dishwashers use less water and will save the average household $40. Whichever method you choose, always follow basic money-saving dishwashing tips, such as only running the dishwasher when it’s full, not pre-soaking dishes and using cold water when you can.]]>

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