DIY Tips for Lowering Your Electricity Costs in 2023 [New Homeowner’s Guide]
New homeowners have a tough job balancing the need for energy-efficient homes with the cost of living.
But, you can make things easier on yourself by taking some simple steps to minimize your energy use.
Air Seal Your Home
Air sealing your home is an important upgrade that is worth your investment. It improves the comfort and energy efficiency of your home and will help you save money on heating and cooling costs.
A properly sealed home will keep you comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside. This will also help with moisture control problems.
You can find out whether your home is leaking air by doing a home energy assessment. These assessments can show you areas where you may need to seal. An expert will be able to locate and fix these leaks.
A home energy assessment (or energy audit) can cost you anywhere between $150 and $900, depending on what type of audit you purchase and how big your home is.
There are 4 levels of home energy audits, those being:
- Level One: basic walk-through assessment, utility bill reviews, and interviews with auditing staff. $0.08 – $0.12 per square foot.
- Level Two: Thorough home assessment, more detailed energy analysis, and a financial review with proposed energy usage measures. $0.12 – $0.35 per square foot
- Level Three: In-depth engineering analysis for potential changes with a financial review. $0.36 – $0.50 per square foot
Some common places to look are around light fixtures, windows, doors, and the attic. In addition, if you have a basement, you might have to look for air leaks there as well.
Using foam insulation to seal a home is an effective way to minimize air leaks. The foam expands rapidly to fill gaps and cracks. While it is possible to do the work yourself, it’s best to hire an experienced professional to do it correctly. They have the tools and expertise to ensure that you get the most benefits.
Use LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are energy efficient and provide a higher quality of light than other lighting sources. However, they can be expensive, to begin with.
The initial cost of an LED bulb was about $30. Nevertheless, they have decreased dramatically in price since they first entered the market in 1964
The LED lighting marketplace is growing rapidly. As more products become available, prices will continue to decrease.
LEDs are able to produce very little heat. This allows them to operate efficiently on low-voltage systems. They can be shaped into almost any shape and despite their high initial cost, they are more than worth it in the long run.
The most efficient LEDs are those that use 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Another good reason to switch to LEDs is that they have a longer lifespan. Some LEDs are capable of lasting 25,000 hours.
They are safer to dispose of than compact fluorescent lights. They also do not contain harmful mercury.
Clean or Replace All Filters
It’s no secret that cleaning or replacing all your filters can save you a bundle of bucks. In fact, you can get back nearly half of your investment in energy savings. Not to mention the improved air quality. The best part is that it’s relatively easy.
If you don’t want to pay out the door for new filters, you can simply replace the old ones with MERV 1 to 4 filters. A high-quality filter is sure to keep your equipment running for a while. This means less maintenance and fewer repair bills.
Air filters are also a great way to dispense the sludge collected in your air conditioning system. And with all the upgrades and renovations you’ve been making, your HVAC system may be suffering from the wear and tear of years past.
By keeping it in tip-top shape, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of your recent home improvement project for a long time to come.
Changing your filters is the easiest way to keep your home’s heating and cooling system running at peak performance. Performing the proper maintenance will prevent costly repairs in the future.
Use Your Microwave More
Consider using a microwave more often. A microwave can even boil water!
Microwaves consume about 60 percent less energy than conventional electric ovens. Other options include a convection microwave and a microwave oven with a built-in fan. If you do decide to get a microwave, go for one with a sleek design and an intuitive control panel.
Add Smart Switches to Lights
Smart lights are a great way to save energy. The average American house can save as much as $240 per year. You’ll also benefit from the convenience of being able to control your lighting from anywhere.
Smart switches have made it possible for homeowners to control their lights and appliances through an online system. They also allow users to interact with the system using voice commands or a smart device. Most devices are compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
The technology used to create smart lights is more environmentally friendly than standard light bulbs. They use less energy to produce electricity and emit less heat. Plus, they can last a long time.
Installing smart light switches is easy. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you must connect the switch to your home’s network. Some models require a smart home hub, but others use Bluetooth or Z-Wave connectivity.
Next, you’ll want to determine whether the switch will communicate with other devices in your home. This is particularly important if you have a smart speaker or a smart assistant.
Use a Quality Thermostat
If you’re looking for a way to save money on electricity, consider upgrading your home’s thermostat. This technology can help you maximize your energy savings, and may also improve your home’s air quality.
The Department of Energy says that if you set your home’s thermostat back seven to ten degrees for eight hours a day, you can save 10 percent off your bill. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but the savings can be substantial. Having a programmable thermostat can also be helpful, as it helps you control the temperature in your home.
A smart thermostat is a new type of thermostat, which uses sensors to better regulate the temperatures in your home. Some of these thermostats are designed to be Wi-Fi compatible, which means you can adjust your thermostat while you’re away from home.
Smart thermostats come with an app that can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet. These apps are convenient for controlling your temperature while you’re away from home.
Another great feature of a smart thermostat is the ability to detect occupancy. You can set a room’s temperature ahead of time so that you don’t have to turn the heat on when you arrive home from work.
Insulate Your Crawl Space
This will help you lower energy costs and improve the air quality of your home. In addition, insulation can be a good way to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Insulation works by slowing down the movement of heat and air. It helps to prevent the transfer of pollutants and other allergens. When insulated, your crawl space will not only save you money on electricity but will also improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
There are several options available for insulating your crawl space. The most common are fiberglass batts and spray foam. Each of these materials offers different benefits. Fiberglass insulation is easier to install than other options.
For best results, you will need to seal all of the cracks in your crawl space. Sealing the cracks can be done with exterior-grade caulk. You can also use silicone caulk to seal any gaps that have formed.
Use a Water Heater Timer
Using a water heater timer can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint. This is especially true if you live in a climate that has peak energy usage. In most cases, you pay higher rates for electricity in the evening and on weekends. A water heater timer is one of the best ways to limit the amount of energy you use during these times.
Water heaters account for about 14% of the total energy consumed in a home. The average household spends around $400 to $600 on water heating annually. Many households with water tanks outside have reported significant savings from using a water heater timer.
A water heater timer can be a simple On/Off switch or a more sophisticated countdown timer. Most water heaters come with a preset temperature of 140 degrees. To maximize the savings, you may want to consider moving the water heater to the heated part of your house.
While a simple On/Off switch is a good start, the water heater timer is a much better option. This is because it can be programmed to turn on or off at specific times. Plus, it can also prevent the water heater from running when you are not using it.
As a new homeowner, there are several DIY tips you can use to lower your electricity costs. By weatherproofing your home, replacing appliances and light bulbs with energy-efficient models, unplugging unused electronics and appliances, and making minor changes to your lifestyle that promote energy savings, you can reduce your energy consumption and save money on your electricity bills.
Understanding how to manage your electricity usage is a great way to get started in becoming an informed homeowner. Taking the initiative to research DIY tips and being conscious of how much energy you are using can help you save a substantial amount of money over time.
Emma is a gardener, a bookkeeper, writer, and mother of three. She spends most of her time in her garden. When she is not there, you will find her working on developing her own line of homemade natural skincare products.
Are you Interested in writing a guest post for ElectricRate? Please email [email protected] to let us know how you’d like to contribute