No matter your financial situation, paying bills never tops the list of favorite things to do. If saving money sparks your interest, read on for simple ways to lower your electric bill and to learn how to simplify your life with Seacoast Online Bill Pay!
1. Close the curtains
During the summer (or any of the hot and warm months in Florida), close curtains on the sunny side of your house during the day. Alternately, leave them open during a sunny day in the winter to allow for some natural heating to occur.
2. Don’t forget annual heating and A/C maintenance
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home uses more energy than any other system, typically making up 54% of your electric bill. Ensure your systems are running at their highest efficiency by hiring highly rated heating and A/C technicians to perform annual cleanings and checkups. Also, be sure to change out your air filters regularly.
3. Consider unplugging
You might think your appliances aren’t using energy since they’re turned off, but this isn’t always the case. To avoid using what’s called vampire power, unplug devices when not in use. If the outlets aren’t easily accessible, plug devices into a power strip that you can switch off and on when needed.
4. Upgrade outdated appliances
If your systems are old, consider updating to more energy efficient products. The energy savings and tax rebates available prove the investment’s worth.
5. Change your light bulbs
Switching to compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs provides drastic energy savings. In fact, LED bulbs are 80% more efficient than incandescent lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
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6. Program your thermostat
Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature in the winter and summer, but program it to raise and lower the temperature when you’re away from your home or sleeping to save on heating and cooling costs.
7. Keep your HVAC unit clear of debris
Shrubbery, branches or debris on or near the system can hinder its overall performance. However, an awning or tree over the unit provides shade, which cuts energy consumption.
8. Plant a tree
Not only are you helping save the planet, but the shade can provide relief on cooling costs.
9. Check for air leaks
Make sure no air is getting through the weatherstripping around the windows, doors or attic. Seal any areas where you find leaks.
10. Turn down the heat
Lower your water heater base temperature to 120 degrees. Wash your clothes in cold or warm water when possible, and only wash when you have a full load. Turn off the heat dry on your dishwasher.
Consult a highly rated, licensed electrician if you have questions about reducing your electric bill. You may also want to consider an energy efficiency home audit to see if additional home maintenance might be needed to save on future energy bills.
To simplify not only your electric bill but any payments, you can schedule regular auto-payments or set up one-time payments through Seacoast's Online Bill Pay. To set this service up on your personal banking account, simply log on to your online banking account, click the "Pay and Transfer" drop down, then click on "Pay Bills" (under the Bill Payments header) to enroll.