How to save money on electricity
There are many reasons one might want to save energy. Maybe it is financial or maybe it is a conservationist mindset. But we can all see how cutting energy costs and helping the planet in the process can be a good thing. Here are some tips and tricks to saving money on electricity in your home this year.
What is the culprit?
Do an energy audit.
Find out what contributes to the electric bill and you can better use your money to decrease those costs.
Here are some areas to check:
-Insulation (walls,attic, basement walls, ceiling and floors)
-Holes/Cracks (around windows, doors, vents, outlets, plumbing , etc...)
-Heating and Cooling System (Keep it maintained)
-----Usually the biggest energy expense is heating and cooling.
-Your Habits (when, where, why you use the electricity)
Make a plan by asking and answering questions:
-How much do you spend? How much would you like to spend instead?
-Where is the energy loss? How can prevent this loss?
-Will these investments save money on electricity or cost you more in up-front costs?
-Will these changes affect your comfort in a positive or negative way?
-How long will you own this home? Is it cost effective to make these changes?
-Do you need extra help of can you do it yourself? How much does it cost?
-What is your budget and time frame? Can you make adjustments within your means?
Appliances - Purchase vs. Operation Costs.
- Consider the price to purchase AND operate the appliance.
- Think about the long term investment and how to save money.
- Change the temperature.
- Defrost the fridge if the frost has built up it runs less efficiently
- Buy a newer more energy efficient model.
- Think about what you need before you open the door.
- Keep it organized and easy to get what you need quickly
- Check for leaks in the seals around the doors.
- Use cold water for a load when you can.
- Use it only when you have a full load.
- Wash clothing less frequently.
- Let clothing air dry when weather permits.
- Don't use the drying cycle, let it air dry
- Only run on a full load
- Hand wash larger items
- Buy an energy efficient model
- Clean the filter monthly when in use.
- Turn off in an empty room
- Cool smaller area of the house instead of the whole house.
- Clean the lint filter after every use.
- Clean out your dryer exhaust vent.
- Air dry clothing in warmer weather.
- Use the moisture sensor on the dryer if you have one to shorten drying cycle.
- Dry full loads when you can. Limit small loads.
- Buy an energy star Dryer.
- Don't use the stove as a heater. Very inefficient.
- Clean the burners on the stove to help reflect heat.
- Use glass and ceramic pans in the oven (They heat faster than metal pans)
- Use caution to prevent fires
- Clear the oven racks to let heat circulate.
- Pre-heat only when making baked goods (bread, pasteries, cake, etc..)
- Skip the stove: Use toaster ovens, crock pots and microwaves to save energy.
- Cook or Bake a lot at once to get the most of the heat.
- Use the smallest pan you can cook an item in.
- Use lids and don't peek to keep the heat in.
- Clean the inside when it is dirty
Cool it off
when the weather is hot
- Turn off fans in unoccupied rooms, fans make people feel cooler not rooms.
- Use fans instead of A/C,
- Open windows at night to let in the outside air, bring it in with fans.
- Use a programmable thermostat (automatically cool and heat the house when needed)
- Cool off one room instead of the whole house.
- Take a cool shower
- Put a wet towel in the fridge to use later.
- Turn your thermostat up by 5F degrees and you can save ~2% on your cooling costs.
Heat it Up - when the weather is cold
- Check for window and door leaks where cold air enters the house.
- Add insulation and block leaks.
- Open the drapes during the day to let the sun's heat in
- Close the drapes at night to keep the warmth from escaping.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically control the temperature.
- Use heated blankets temporarily to heat up the bed or yourself.
- Drink warm liquids: soup, tea, coffee.
- Exercise will increase blood flow and warm your body.
- Add more clothing layers if you want to limit heating in the house.
- Plan when you open the door or refrigerator so that less air escapes.
- Warm up a smaller area of the home with closed doors.
- Turn your thermostat down by 5F degrees and you can save ~2% on your heating costs.
- Keep heaters clear of furniture and other items that block the flow.
- Place space heaters in an open area on a hard non-flammable surface
- Turn off space heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Cut bubble wrap to size and place on your windows for an inexpensive option.
- Buy caulking to fill in gaps around windows and doors
- Get thicker drapes to keep the drafty air outside.
Lights and Lighting - an economic choice
- Use compact florescent lights (CFL) when possible.
- Turn them off when they aren't in use or when you leave the room.
- Comparison shop and buy bulbs when they go on sale.
- Pull the curtains open or get light drapes to let more light in.
- Use LED night lights.
- Taking showers instead of baths will decrease the amount of hot water used.
- Check faucets and bathtubs for drips and fix it when there is a problem.
- Install a water saving shower head (sometimes free or discounted from the water company).
- Install low-flow faucet aerators (decrease the water flow).
- Buy the size water heater you need (larger costs more than smaller)
- If you can, turn off the water heater when you don't need warm water.
- Turn down the thermostat on the water heater to between 120-140F
Prevent Water Waste
-Add native plants outside so that you do not need to water them as often.
-Add mulch to prevent water from evaporating as much.
-Use a bucket for washing your car or outside of house, use hose only when rinsing it off.
Some helpful links
- The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Consumer Resources
Learn about the policies and standards put into place throughout the US.
- Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Lots of tips for improving the energy efficiency of your home in many categories.
- Energy Star
The nation standard in energy efficiency as well as a list of products that fit this standard.
- Alliance to Save Energy
Many resources, news and program information about energy.
- Easy tricks to cut your energy bill
Lots of little tips to decrease your energy bill.