Simple Tips to Save Money – Part 1
Right now we all need to save money every way that we can. It seems to me that our recent economic problems may actually help us all realize the importance of not throwing our money away. I have been trying to find easy and inexpensive ways to help me and my family save money long term. I have been focusing on our home, and primarily on reducing our utility bills.
We all know that we should turn off the lights when we don’t need them, but what about all of the other electronic devices that we all own. Cell phone chargers, computers, TVs and other media devices such as DVD players all continue to take power even when not in use. The easiest way to deal with these electronics is to install surge protectors on all of them. When you are done for the day, simply turn off the power on the surge protector and you will have no more wasted energy. If you need to keep your computer on, make sure to install an uninterruptible power supply that boasts the energy saving logo. These modern battery back-ups actually will reduce the amount of current that is pulled from your wall outlet by utilizing the battery when they can to avoid power spikes. Also, make sure that you monitor is set to turn itself off after a few minutes of no activity.
The next tip is simple, but often overlooked. Turn it down, all of it. Turn down the thermostat on your furnace and put on a sweater. The sweater doesn’t cost anything. When it’s warm, turn down the air conditioning. Take the sweater back off. I not saying to make it uncomfortable, but just a degree or two can reduce your energy bills significantly. Also, check the temperature settings on your fridge and freezer. You may be able to save a little bit there as well, just make sure that it is still cold enough to keep your food safe. Finally, turn down the temp on your water heater. You don’t need the water to be able to burn you. You just need it warm enough to make doing the dishes easier and your shower comfortable. I have mine set almost at the lowest setting and I can still get plenty hot in the shower.
Insulate your water heater. You can buy fire-retardant insulation kits from just about any home improvement store for around twenty bucks. Also, pick up some pipe insulation for your hot water lines. Again, it is not expensive and the benefits will last for many, many years to come. The insulation on the water heater’s tank will keep the heater from running as often and the line insulation gets the hot water to you faster, so that you use less water.
These quick tips may not cut your bills in half, but you will notice the difference. Even if you only break even the first year with the purchase of the insulation and power strips, you will be way ahead next year and just think about what you are doing for the environment by reducing the amount of energy that you are consuming