**Replace your HVAC & furnace filters. **Most renters and homeowners overlook HVAC and furnace filters. However, when you take the time to look up at your vents, you are bound to see dust and residue building up in them. All you have to do is take off each individual vent cover and vacuum the vent and filter. If they look and feel like they need to be replaced, purchase new ones to help improve the air flow in your space. You could save $7-10 each month if you replace your filter regularly. If you rent an apartment, your maintenance staff should be doing this regularly for you.
High electric bills can make you struggle with your budget. A bill that fluctuates from month to month can be unpredictable. However, you can get a handle on your electricity consumption and make electric bills go down every month through steady change and making improvements to your home. While not everything in your home uses the same amount of energy (see Resources), cutting back on how you use appliances and areas in your home can create a drop in your bill.
According to the chart, if your electricity usage ranges between 1000 – 1700 kWhs per month, this plan might be a good choice. But if you happen to use less electricity and do not qualify for the bill credit, you will be paying a much higher rate for electricity than you expected. It’s as if you’re penalized for not using enough electricity if you use less than 1000 kWh. On the flip side, if your electricity usage spikes in the summer, your electricity rate will too because the more electricity you use, the more diluted that bill credit becomes. With bill credits, there is a usage sweet spot and you need to determine what that is and stay within it in order for this type of plan to be a good deal.
In the winter, I keep my thermostat on 62. Often, I don’t even turn the heater on until late November or early December. I figure that between my low temp in the winter and the months without anything at all in the spring and fall, that I can afford to spend a ton on a/c to keep cool in the summer. So I cut back spending on things I don’t care about (heat) so I can spend more on what I do care about (a/c). *grin* I live in KS.
There are over 60 different energy suppliers competing for your business on any given day in Texas. Many of these electric companies have websites that are confusing and nearly impossible to navigate, their rates and fees hidden by dense industry jargon and misleading advertising. Who has the spare the time to sort through the choices spread out over all these different sites and companies?
I used this method, and with a programmable thermostat for my central air and heat, I was able to lower my bill to about $75. The only exception to this was I left my lamps plugged in. Everything else was unplugged as soon as I was done with it. Of course, I worked all day and no one was at home, either, but before I started, my bill ran around $125.
One of the best things about Nest is its compatibility with a huge range of other products, including other Nest products like its carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras, and so on. It'll also work with a big range of third-party devices. It's extremely fun to control your thermostat with your voice if you have a Google Home smart speaker or Amazon's Echo.