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This Simple Trick Will Help You Reduce Your Electric Bill Each Month

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This Simple Trick Will Help You Reduce Your Electric Bill Each Month

Sure, there are major home overhauls that you can tackle to help reduce energy usage. For one, you can add solar panels to your roof; for another, you can upgrade all your appliances with energy efficient models.

We’re definitely proponents of these improvements since they not only yield big cost savings but they also offer environmental benefits as well. But we know not everyone is in a financial position or lifestyle circumstance for large-scale changes. In fact, some of the best energy-conservation strategies are those that require the least effort.

That’s why we’re sharing the one small change you can make (no matter if you own or rent, or if you live in a 3,000-square-foot home or a studio apartment) that’ll help you realize monthly electric bill savings: Adjust the temperature on your thermostat.

Heating and cooling accounts for 47% of your home’s total energy use, so when you’re looking for simple ways to put money back in your wallet, go straight to the energy-hungry source. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that for every degree you nudge your thermostat per eight hours, you’ll see a savings of 1%. So adjusting the settings by 7-10 degrees for eight hours can save you nearly 10%, or close to $90, on electricity bills a year.

We get it. Comfort matters. So if you’re wondering how to stay warm during the winter and cool in the summer with the thermostat tweaked in either direction by 10 degrees, try these tips:

  • Slip on a sweater when temperatures dip outside
  • In the winter, utilize a small space heater for rooms you’re occupying
  • Plug in an electric blanket on cold nights
  • Use ceiling fans on hot days
  • Wear lightweight clothing in the summer
  • In warm months, cook on a grill or use the microwave instead of the oven

If you’re not totally sold on wearing layers inside come winter or positioning fans around you at all times in the summer, consider adjusting your thermostat’s settings to your preferred temperatures when you’re at home, then lowering or raising them when you’re away.

Even better, install a smart thermostat. Not only can it automatically do this for you, but some of the higher-end models actually “learn” your behaviors and adjust the settings according to your lifestyle. For example, a smart thermostat with geofencing will sense when you’re coming home from work and turn on the air-conditioner as you’re pulling into the driveway.

The range of smart thermostats on the market include easy-to-install units as affordable as $80 and pricier options for $300 that can also — bonus! — play your Spotify tunes. Plus, you can find thermostats compatible with all types of heating and cooling systems, from central HVACs to portable AC units, in-window units, baseboard heaters, and radiant heating.

The best part: Smart thermostats sync with your phone or tablet, which means you can operate them from anywhere, whether it’s from the office or a hotel in Maui.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our free Home Energy Score. You can find out how energy efficient your home is and how you can improve it.

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