9 Easy Hacks to Save Money on Utility Bills

With the heat that we deal with here in Florida it’s not hard to imagine that our energy costs account for over 60% of our bills throughout the year. This is exactly why we’ve compiled a way to quickly and easily transform your energy-hogging house into a more efficient and “smart”er home to help you save energy.

Stressed out homeowner looking at her energy bills

Some of these you’ve likely heard for years…. But there is a reason! They work. With energy costs and inflation putting a strain on many Jacksonville homeowners, this is the perfect time to practice some of these simple hacks.

Example of a nest brand smart thermostat

1. Upgrade Your Thermostat to Save Energy

Warm or cold outside, your thermostat is constantly working with your AC to keep your home’s temperature right where you want it. So, why would a new thermostat help the situation? Because newer model thermostats are smarter and able to be programmed so that you don’t have the endless running of your system.

To get the most out of your new thermostat you will need to make sure you program it to your schedule. Make sure that you have it set up to turn not run while you’re at work or at night when it is cooler outside. Oh, and don’t forget to set it for when you leave town for extended periods like a vacation. There’s no reason to keep your home chilly while you’re at Disney. Luckily, replacing and programming a thermostat is an easy project that can be done on your own in just a few steps.

Example of a power strip on the floor with several plug plugged in.

2. Utilize Power Strips

We all know that appliances and devices are a drain on your electricity but most don’t realize that simply turning them off and leaving them plugged in still creates a drain on your electricity. These are known as “phantom loads” and continue to waste energy. By using power strips, you can easily cut the power to multiple devices, including USB-plug devices with the click of a switch.

A persons hand changing out the LED light bulb of an office lamp.

3. Change Out Your Light Bulbs

A simple switch of your light bulbs can save you up to 25% on your electric bill. By changing to the super-efficient LED lightbulbs, you’re helping to boost your home’s electrical efficiency and reducing your bills. Another great option for lowering costs is to use natural lighting when it’s sunny out. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and let in some vitamin D.

A young girl turning off the lights using the light switch to save energy

4. About Those Lights….

Make sure you rigorously turn off lights that you are not using. The more lights that are on in your home adds up your energy costs over time. During the day try to use as much natural light as possible to reduce your need for powered lights. Oh, and consider using more task-oriented lights over those that light a while room. Think something like a reading light instead of an overhead.

Guy pulling out an old Air conditioner filter

5. Change Your Air Filter

When your AC is running it pulls air in through your filter to catch those nasty pollutants. However, over time they build up and can make it harder for the system to get air moving through your home. This means that not only are you creating unnecessary wear on your AC unit, but you’re burning way more power than you would normally. As a bonus, you should have your AC serviced at least once, if not twice per year.

Someone setting the temperature low on their clothes washing machine to save energy

6. Skip the Hot Water in Your Washer

The hot water used in your washer is mostly wasted energy. Not only do High Efficiency washers do just as good with cold water, but also your home’s water heater needs to run to replenish all that hot water. Plus, the hot water used does more wear on your clothes AND does nothing to kill germs. Save energy and let the dryer do the germ killing.

A toddler pretending to load the dryer.

7. Maximize Your Dryer

When drying your clothes, toss in a dry towel along with your wet clothes. The towel will soak up some of the moisture during the drying process and can cut the amount of time down significantly. Just be mindful of the load you are running so you don’t lint up a bunch of darks.

Lady looking in her fridge for the temperature settings.

8. Keep Your Fridge Cool, Not Cold

Setting your fridge down to 35-38 often creates more problems than solutions. If you need something to be cold enough to freeze, toss it in the freezer. Otherwise, set your fridge to around 40 degrees. This is the sweet spot for keeping things chilly while also not forcing your fridge to run inefficiently. By reducing the fridge’s need to constantly you cool you’ll save energy.

9. Regularly Assess Your Systems

Old and faulty systems like your HVAC system can wreak havoc on your bills. By calling your trusted Thompson HVAC technician, we can come out and assess the system to make sure your system is working as efficiently as possible to keep your costs down. Your system may need a cleaning or some ductwork repair to ensure added efficiency.

If you are unsure how to go about accomplishing some of these items, Thompson Electric and Air is here to help! From thermostats to new breaker boxes down to the lowly bulb change, we have you covered! Thank you for reading.