How to Make Your Home Electrical System More Efficient for Under

How to Make Your Home Electrical System More Efficient for Under $50

Improving your home's electrical efficiency can save you money on your energy bills while also helping the environment. With some simple upgrades costing less than $50, you can make a noticeable difference. Here are some tips for increasing your home electrical system's efficiency on a budget:

Replace Incandescent Lightbulbs with LEDs

One of the easiest ways to boost efficiency is to swap out traditional incandescent lightbulbs for LED lightbulbs. LEDs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer. For under $5 per bulb, you can replace the most frequently used bulbs in your home. Focus first on the bulbs you use most like in the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms.

Use Advanced Power Strips

Many appliances and electronics draw power even when switched off, which is called phantom load. This can account for 5-10% of your home's electricity use. Using advanced power strips (about $25) allows you to completely cut power to those devices when not in use. Make sure to use them for devices like TVs, gaming consoles, and computer peripherals.

Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks can increase heating and cooling costs by up to 30%. You can improve your home's insulation and prevent leaks by using caulk and weatherstripping (about $10 total) around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and attic hatches. Target areas where you feel drafts or see gaps. Sealing leaks will help keep heated and cooled air where it belongs.

Adjust Water Heater Temperature

Simply dialing down the temperature on your water heater can reduce its electricity use by 3-5%. Newer models allow you to adjust the temperature yourself, usually somewhere between 110-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Lowering by just 10 degrees can save up to 5% on water heating costs while still providing comfortable hot water.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

Replacing an old thermostat with one that can be programmed and adjusted remotely provides more control over your home's temperature. A programmable thermostat costs around $25. You can adjust it to lower temperatures when no one is home and increase it just before arriving back. Newer smart thermostats let you tweak temperatures and schedules from your phone for around $50.

With these affordable efficiency upgrades, you can reduce your home energy usage and monthly bills. Be sure to take advantage of any rebates or incentives your utility company provides as well. A few smart purchases can add up to big savings over time.