How to Hack Your Electric Bill

A stack of cash on top of an electric bill with an electrical cord.

Many people dread receiving their electric bill because they're tired of paying astronomical costs month after month. But saving energy in your home doesn’t mean you have to sit in the dark or stop watching TV. The proof is in the pudding: efficiency "hacks" as easy as these can help you save a bundle on your electric bill, which is a great feeling when it arrives month after month!

Install Light Dimmers

Lighting a room takes a considerable amount of electricity, but lowering the brightness can help you save a pretty penny! Dimming your lights an average of 50 percent can cut your electric use by up to 40 percent, saving you money on your bill and allowing your bulbs to last an average of 20 times longer.

Keep the Fridge Full

A full fridge.

Because the food in your fridge acts as insulation and lessens the amount of time the appliance has to run to stay cool, a full fridge is a good thing! The more you keep it stocked, the less energy it will take to stay as cool as a cucumber (the same goes for the freezer).

Use Weather Strips

Your front door or even your windows could be responsible for letting air in or out of your house, causing your heating and cooling systems to have to go into overdrive. Use and replace weather strips on doors and windows to keep air from leaking out of your home or from seeping in when you don’t want it to.

Do Laundry the Right Way

Dryer lint screen.

Doing laundry can use an abundance of energy, so use easy hacks to run those loads in a more efficient way. First, washing your clothes in cold water saves you money. A large part of the cost of laundry is associated with heating the water, so opting for cold will save you a bundle.

Another easy way to cut laundry costs is to only wash full loads. Because your washing machine and dryer are appliances that eat up a great deal of electricity, minimizing the usage of them is crucial to saving on energy costs.

Finally, cleaning your dryer’s lint screen regularly ensures that the machine will run more efficiently. Check the screen after every couple of loads to remove the lint that builds up. Every couple of months, use soapy water and a brush to scrub the screen clean.

Keep the Sun Out

While it’s nice to let the sunshine light up your home, doing so can make your home hotter. To cut down on air conditioning costs, shield your home from the heat of the sun during the day by using blinds and curtains, especially during the hours of 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon when the sun is the strongest.

Line Dry Your Laundry

A clothesline with colorful pins on it.

Instead of running the dryer, take advantage of mild to warm weather and line dry your clothes. Set up a clothesline in your backyard and let the fresh air do the rest! If you don’t have your own yard or don’t want to put your clothes outside, use a drying rack instead.

Install Motion Sensors on Lights

Lighting up certain areas inside or outside of your home, especially at night, can eat up energy where it’s not necessary. Installing motion sensors on these lights guarantees that they're only used when needed, which will certainly save power. This is particularly useful on patios, decks, porches, or in your driveway.

Landscape Strategically

A wheelbarrow next to a tree and flowers in a frontyard.

When you’re planting trees or large bushes outside of your home, place them in close proximity to windows in order to grant your home shade from the sun. This will help keep the inside of your house cooler without having to crank up your air conditioning.

Use Small Kitchen Appliances When Possible

When you’re reheating food or cooking a small portion, try to limit the use of bigger appliances such as your stovetop or oven. Instead, utilize smaller appliances like your microwave or toaster oven. These small machines use less power and get the job done just the same, so why not save some power when preparing a meal?