posted on January 20, 2014 10:48
Read about tips on how to lower your electric bills.
It has already been a cold 2014 and it's about to get colder again. Unfortunately, your electric meter is the true indicator of how cold it has been. This time of year, about 50 percent of your home electric costs come from heating. When frigid temperatures set in, your heating system has to work even harder to keep you warm, and that means more electric consumption and higher electric bills.
Those January electric bills will soon be hitting your mailbox. Be prepared for a higher-than-normal electric bill. While there’s nothing you can do to change the past, brush up on winter electric tips so you can be prepared the next time Mother Nature strikes. (See Below)
TempTracker365 also provides helpful videos and a customized weather calendar to help you manage household electric use. NC Public Power customers can also request a free home energy audit – just contact your local utility for more information.
There are many steps you can take right now to reduce electricity use and spare yourself the alarm (and stress) of an overly high utility bill. Brian McGinn, ElectriCities Senior Residential Energy Advisor, recommends the following:
Insulate: Think of insulation as a big blanket for your home. It improves your home’s energy efficiency by keeping the warm air you pay for inside your house. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 12 inches of insulation lining your attic.
Keep it low: Your thermostat, that is. We recommend setting it at 68 degrees. Every degree you raise the temperature can add three percent to your heating costs. Consider this: at 72 degrees, the heating component of your bill can jump 12%.
Dodge drafts: Weather-strip, seal and caulk leaky doors and windows and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, decreasing drafts can reduce energy use by 5 – 30%.
Change filters: Clogged filters make it harder for air to flow through, which puts more strain on your heating system. So change your filters every month or so; cheap filters work well.
Use solar power: When the sun’s out, open your blinds and let natural solar heat warm your house. Letting the sunshine in can keep cash in your wallet.
Wrap it up: Wrap your water heater with an insulating blanket. Also, lower water temperature to 120 degrees or less.
Dress up: We’re not talking formal attire here, instead put on a sweater or sweatshirt when indoors. By simply bundling up a bit you can lower your thermostat while still remaining warm and cozy. Think of it as adding insulation!
Keep vents clear: Your vents and heating registers should be unobstructed. Make sure furniture, drapes and other items aren’t blocking the heat flow coming from your vents.
Look for leaks: Inspect your ductwork for leaks or separation from the main duct line. If separated, reconnect and fasten with duct mastic, a caulk like substance you can purchase at any home improvement store.
Be safe: If you use any fossil fuel (e.g. kerosene) in your home, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed; they save lives.
For more energy-saving tips and how-to videos, visit TempTracker365.
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