Many homeowners are seeing their energy bills go up as families are spending more time at home. Keeping the lights on is costly and your utility bills can eat a large portion of your monthly expenses. As a result, cost savings are more important than ever and homeowners need ways to cut back on any possible expenses. There are several effective ways you can reduce your energy consumption and lower your energy bill at the same time.

1. Turn off the lights.

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Forgetting to turn off the lights when you leave a room is a huge waste of energy. While the kWh of energy consumed by lightbulbs may not sound significant, you’d be surprised at the annual cost savings you’ll see simply by turning off the lights. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible, and consider installing smart lighting to control your home lighting.

2. Maintain your HVAC system.

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Installing a smart thermostat is a great way to reduce energy usage and lower your energy bills. A programmable thermostat improves the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by allowing you to set the temperature throughout the day. Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system works hard to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Keeping up with regular maintenance is the best way to reduce your HVAC system’s energy consumption.

You should replace dirty filters with clean filters every 90 days to maintain airflow and air quality. You should also inspect coils and wires for leaks, remove debris from vents, and clean the ducts. The expert technicians at Stephen K. Denny Inc. have years of experience providing HVAC unit repairs, maintenance, and installations as well as performing ductless services and indoor air quality services. Keeping your cooling and heating system in working condition is the best way to improve HVAC efficiency and lower electricity costs.

3. Change your lightbulbs.

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A great way to use less energy to light your home is to switch out traditional bulbs with energy-saving bulbs. Energy Star-rated bulbs cost a little more to purchase, but they offer savings in the long run. Within a year the energy savings of efficient bulbs will pay for themselves. Not only do energy-efficient bulbs consume less energy than traditional bulbs, but they also last up to 25 times longer. Smart bulbs can be controlled with a smartphone and allow you to control your lighting on a schedule.

4. Check for air leaks.

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Air leaks interfere with the efficiency of your home and quickly drive up your electricity costs. It’s a good idea to perform an energy audit and check doors, windows, and appliances for air leaks. Old or damaged seals let warm air in and cool air out. You can seal your home with weather strips for the windows and doors and caulking for plumbing, air ducts, and wiring.

It’s also a good idea to check your appliances for phantom energy usage. Even when your appliances are turned off, they use a small amount of energy in the background. Unplugging your appliances and electronic devices when not in use is an easy way to keep your electricity costs in check and save on your electricity bill.

5. Only run appliances when they’re full.

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You may think that you’re saving water by using the dishwasher, but running appliances when they aren’t full is a waste of energy consumption. Running your dishwasher and washing machine at night helps reduce energy use. It’s more energy efficient to wash your clothes in cold water, and it’s better to line-dry your laundry rather than to use the dryer.

These are some of the most effective ways and easy ways to reduce your energy consumption and enjoy cost savings on your energy bills.