One of the quirks of living in the South is that icy weather is rarely an issue before the holidays. Once December rolls around, your utility bill will soar unless you take the proper money-saving steps. Here are four ways to keep your electric bill under control during the holidays.
Image via Flickr by BitBoy
One of the reasons your electric bill is so high is that you set it manually. You pick a temperature as the primary setting on the thermostat. When the sensor detects that your house is too cold, it automatically uses power to activate your HVAC unit. Your system will run until it reaches the right temperature.
The process is effective but not ideal. Your HVAC unit will run whether you’re home or not. It also doesn’t know if you’re already comfortable. That’s why programmable devices like Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat are better. They won’t waste energy when you’re not home. Instead, they’ll identify the moments when you want to heat and activate your HVAC unit accordingly. You’ll save lots of money this way.
New HVAC Unit
Another way you’re likely to waste energy is beyond your control. Manufacturers designed older generations of HVAC units with a focus on functionality. Energy efficiency has only become a priority in recent years. If your system is more than a decade old, you’ll save more money in the future by upgrading your system now. That might sound counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Every month you use an HVAC device that isn’t efficient, you’re spending a hundred dollars or more in excess energy bills. Over the course of a year, that’s $1,200. Over the course of a 30-year mortgage, it’s more than many new cars. Yes, spending a modest amount for a new HVAC now will give you the extra monthly income to buy a car or whatever else you want with your newfound disposable income.
Cheap Holiday Decorations
The one way you’ll struggle to save money during the holidays is with your decorations. Many of them require electricity to operate. You don’t want to turn off your tree or holiday lights during December. You also don’t want to pay a fortune to run them for most of the month.
Fortunately, a couple of great options exist. Fiber optic trees, like modern HVAC units, are energy-efficient. You’ll enjoy breathtaking visuals when you illuminate your tree each day, but you’ll pay far less on your utility bill. Similarly, LED twinkle lights will give your decorations a distinctive feel. Some of the lights will stay on permanently while others will only power on intermittently. In addition to looking great, you’ll save on your utility bill.
The final suggestion is the easiest one. Get in the habit of using less electricity during the holidays. Take a quick look at everything in your home that’s plugged into an electrical outlet. Decide which of these devices are necessary and which ones you can live without. Unplug anything that falls into the latter category until the holidays are over.
Saving on your electricity bill during the holidays is easy. Simply follow the tips above, and you’ll enjoy a pleasant surprise when your next bill arrives.