Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday's Tip: Reducing Your Electric Bill

I have seen on other blogs people offering advice or little tricks of the trade on being more cost effective. Personally I love it. So I thought I would "borrow" from them and do the same.

I have found a really cool site called Mortgage Lowdown. This site offers advice for those buying or selling their home and on mortgages, as well as tips for things such as home improvement and cost effective home-owning tips. I spent some good time reading through their articles at 2 am last night. (Val there is some really good stuff on here for you)

With the cost of electricity on the rise and with the hot summer months upon us, I thought I would share some tips on reducing your electric bill. Some are no brainers and others are things I just never think about.

How to Reduce Your Electric Bill
A lot of people rarely ever think about all of the energy that they are using in their home, and as a result they pay a much higher energy bill than they need to. By taking a few simple steps, you can easily reduce your electric bill by anywhere from twenty to forty percent. Consider these ways to cut your home electrical usage:

Unplug Appliances When Not in Use – Many appliances drain power when they’re not even turned on. Rather they’re sitting in a sort of a sleep mode which allows them to turn on instantaneously when needed. They suck a small amount of energy while in this state, and it might be better to unplug some of your appliances that you don’t use extensively rather than let them suck juice.

Compact Florescent Light Bulbs – These new light bulbs of the future might cost a bit more up front, but they consume dramatically less energy. They’ll also last much longer, and not generate any un-necessary heat. Incandescent light bulbs generate a lot of heat, which your air-conditioner has to overcome in the summer, and helps your heater in the summer. CFL bulbs don’t generate a lot of heat, so they don’t mess with your air-conditioning or furnace either way.

Temperature Control – The lower your thermostat is set, the more money you will save, it’s as simple as that. Consider dropping your thermostat a few degrees to save a lot of electricity that your furnace sucks up.

Optimize Your Vents – Consider going through your house and adjusting the vents so that during the summer the cool air from your air conditioner comes out the top story of your house, and during the winter, make it so it comes out on the main floor of your house. In the winter the heat will rise, and in the summer the cool air will sink to the bottom, ensuring an optimal spread of temperature throughout your house. If one of the rooms in your home is much hotter or cooler than the other, adjust the vents accordingly so that room can get either more or less heat.

Your Computer – Desktop computers suck up a lot of energy compared to other devices in your home. Be sure to enable power saving features on it, so that it will consume much less energy when it’s not being used. (Guilty of this!)

Manage Your Blinds – Try to keep your blinds closed during the summer so that the greenhouse effect doesn’t warm up your home and force your AC to work harder. Open them during the winter so the greenhouse effect does happen and your heater doesn’t have to work as hard.

Chargers – If you have a cell-phone charger, a battery charger, or a laptop charger, don’t leave them plugged into the wall when you’re not using them. They’re still sucking up energy, but it’s going to waste. (Another guilt!)

Lights – My room-mate has a terrible habit of leaving lights on in the house when he’s not using them, or when he’s not even home! Be sure to turn off any lights as soon as you leave the room and aren’t using them! (Imagine how much I could save if the kids actually shut lights off)

Ditch the Second Fridge or the Deep Freeze – If you have more than one refrigerator or freezer in your home, consider getting rid of the second and simply having less food at home. This way you’re not keeping un-needed food at home, and your second freezer or refrigerator isn’t sucking up juice. (This isn't happening. I need my meat and beer storage)


Leesha said...

Great Tips! Quite a few I never thought of.

it's me, Val said...

Eww ewww ewww, do not, I repeat, do NOT use the flourescent light bulbs. I have a friend who uses them to save money and they give me a headache when I'm in her house. The lighting is god-awful horrendous, so un-natural, and just puts a bad blue-ish yellow gross tint on everything. I can't stand it. Just my .02.