There’s always a bit of suspense when the first of the month rolls around.
Was the A/C really on so long? Will the electric bill be through the roof? Is that extra weekend with the in-laws visiting going to affect our budget?
Between seasonal heating and cooling demands, fluctuating energy prices, and uneven water usage, it’s tough to know exactly where your monthly utility costs will land. And with global energy demand set to rise in the coming years, there’s never been a better time to take stock of your own home energy habits.
In addition to common sense best practices for energy conservation, using timer controls throughout your home can help reduce your monthly utility bills by setting guidelines for when and how long lights, appliances, and electronic devices can be used.
Here are just a few of the many clever applications homeowners can use timer controls to save energy and put some extra cash in their pockets.
Outdoor and Safety Lights
Keeping the area surrounding your home well-lit doesn’t have to be a daily chore. Timer controls can be configured to activate on a set schedule that provides basic outdoor light and security while minimizing energy waste. Certain timer controls even adjust automatically throughout the year to account for shifting sunset and sunrise times.
Similarly, if you commonly leave a light on when going out of town or when you’re away from home for extended periods, timer controls can lend a hand. Once programmed, lights can be set to turn on and off automatically, giving the illusion of daily household use without the expense of staying on continuously.
Household Appliances and Electronics
If you’ve ever unplugged your toaster to save electricity, this may be a familiar concept. When household appliances and electronics (e.g., cable boxes, dryers, computers, etc.) are plugged in but are not in use, they typically still use a very small amount of electricity. But with dozens of these items idling throughout the home 24/7, costs can easily add up over time. By integrating timer controls with a fixed daytime and overnight schedule, you can quickly cut idle usage in half. What’s more, because the devices are already inactive during overnight hours, there’s little influence on day-to-day life.
Bathrooms and Limited-Use Spaces
Though everyone’s guilty of leaving the lights on now and again, some instances are more preventable than others. By installing timer controls in single-purpose and limited-use spaces, such as bathrooms and attics, you can ensure you’ve always got a failsafe in place.
In addition to being a friendly nudge to shower hogs, the simple controls offer peace of mind to individuals who scramble out the door as part of their morning routine by putting a limit on the amount of time lights and outlets can stay on without being reset manually.