What you can do to avoid a scary electric bill at Halloween
Trick-or-treat! Halloween is coming. As a homeowner, you may not be afraid of spooky ghosts and goblins - but you might be scared of high electric bills.
Want to save money on your utilities? We can help with that. The following suggestions can help you save energy this fall and avoid big, scary utility costs.
Use Timers for Lights
Hanging Halloween lights is a part of the fun, but only if you're using energy wisely. Use timers to control when your Halloween lights turn on, and when they turn off. By controlling how long your lights are on, you can ensure that your Halloween lights will have the greatest effect, while at the same time preventing your lights from twinkling at all hours of the night.
There are many types of timers that you can use. For a complex lighting set up, consider a smart timer. Like other smart products, a smart timer can be controlled with the touch of a button on your smartphone.
You may have to download a special app to control the timer, just follow the instructions included with the package. Smart timers can be made for indoor and outdoor applications, but read the product packaging before choosing a timer to ensure you get the right type for the location where the timer will be installed.
Use LED Lights
Halloween twinkle lights create an enchanting display indoors or on the front lawn at Halloween. However, if you're not using the most efficient type of light bulb available, you could be missing out on valuable energy savings.
The Difference Between LED and Incandescent
An incandescent light bulb produces light by heating a wire filament. Incandescent bulbs have been around for decades and are now one of the least energy efficient light bulbs available to consumers. LED light bulbs, on the other hand, work by activating a diode. These bulbs are one of the most efficient light bulbs available.
Twinkle Lights Can Be Incandescent or LED
Traditional outdoor twinkle lights come available with incandescent bulbs, but today, LED twinkle lights are also available. The cost to operate an incandescent string of twinkle lights is about 90 times the cost to operate a string of LED lights.
That means that if you love to go overboard with the twinkling Halloween decorations, you could be missing out on significant savings. Upgrade your twinkle lights to LED's to start saving money and energy.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
It's just about time to turn on the furnace in the evenings. It's estimated that over 40% of your utility bills go to heating and cooling your home. Older HVAC systems use more energy to heat and cool your home, partly because systems grow more inefficient with time, and partly because modern innovations have allowed new systems to become highly efficient. You can reduce your home's energy costs by upgrading your HVAC system to something more modern.
Want the most efficient HVAC system possible? Look for the ENERGY STAR label on the furnace and air conditioner you're considering. Products designated with the ENERGY STAR label are the most efficient products on the market.
Before getting your new HVAC system installed, remember that you may need a breaker box upgrade, or possibly a new dedicated circuit installed.
Upgrade Your Home’s Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting like garden lighting, pathway lighting and spot lighting is an important feature on any property. Without it, your home could be more vulnerable to intruders, less safe to walk around at night, and less lovely in the dark. On Halloween night, you'll want sufficient outdoor lighting to keep trick-or-treaters safe.
Hopefully your home has some form of outdoor lighting, but depending on when it was installed, it might be using a lot more energy than necessary.
An upgrade of your home's outdoor lighting can save you money on electricity. Install LED lighting with timers or motion detectors, so you'll only use the lighting when you need it most. Work with a qualified electrician to ensure that the installation is performed correctly.
Use Your Home’s Programmable Thermostat
Most homes now have a programmable thermostat, and some even have a smart thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to control the temperature of their house, raising and lowering the temperature as needed depending on the time of day.
Adjust the temperature on your thermostat to use less energy at night while you're sleeping. Doing this can save you money.
If you're really committed to saving energy, consider installing a smart thermostat. These products can do things like "learn" your preferred temperature and keep your home this temperature while you are there. Some smart thermostats even have the ability to track when you leave your home. When you're gone, the thermostat adjusts the temperature to use less energy, then will adjust the temperature accordingly when you return.
If you don't have a smart or programmable thermostat but would like one, contact an electrician to perform installation.
Fight “Vampire” Electronics
Some electronic devices appear to be off when they really aren't. These so-called vampire electronics use a small amount of power throughout the day while in stand-by mode. Over time, these devices can use a lot of energy and cost you money.
In the past, the only way to deal with these electronics was to completely shut off the device or unplug it. Today, you can fight vampire electronics with a smart power strip. Smart power strips sense when a device is in stand-by mode and thus can shut down the outlet to that particular device. This saves you money and also saves you the trouble of having to shut down those electronics yourself.
Weatherstripping prevents energy leaks that can place a burden on your home's HVAC system. Install weatherstripping around your home's windows and doors, to fill in the gaps between doors, windows and their frames.
This is the perfect time of year to install weatherstripping because the colder weather is coming. Getting weatherstripping installed before temperatures drop can prevent your home's furnace from running more than it needs to when the thermostat kicks it on.
You can install weatherstripping yourself, or hire a handyman to do it for you. If you installed weatherstripping last year, or in a previous year, check its condition. Cracked weatherstripping should be replaced, as should weatherstripping that's no longer puffy enough to fill the gaps around the windows and doors.
Upgrade Your Home's Appliances
Just like old HVAC equipment, old appliances can be energy inefficient. Treat yourself this Halloween to a new set of energy efficient appliances! Upgrading your home's appliances can help reduce your home's energy usage. Again, when shopping for appliances, check for the ENERGY STAR label to ensure that the appliances you purchase use energy wisely.
If your appliances are very old, they may not have a dedicated circuit as they should. If this is the case, have an electrician install a dedicated circuit for you.
Need An Installation? Call An Electrician You Can Trust
For over 50 years, the professionals at Add-All Electric have been helping homeowners in the Dallas and Fort Worth area to make important changes to their home's electrical system. Our dedicated, highly trained electricians can upgrade your electrical panel, install dedicated circuits, upgrade lighting and more. Call today to make an appointment.