- Green Technology
Ways to Save on My Electric Bill
When it comes to lowering your carbon footprint, one of the easiest things to do is reduce the amount of electricity you use.
- The obvious first step is to turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Open your window blinds to let in natural light.
- Set you air conditioner a few degrees warmer and set your heater up a few degrees cooler.
- On a nice day, turn the AC off completely, open your windows and just let the fresh air keep you cool. If the afternoons get hot in your area but the nights are cooler, you might consider opening your windows just or the first few hours of the day (any amount of time you can not use the AC helps reduce your carbon footprint).
- If you are going to be gone most of the day, adjust your temperature so you aren't heating or cooling an empty house.
- Better yet, install a programmable thermostat. Of course, installing it isn't enough – you actually have to program it.
But, the ways to save on electricity to reduce your carbon footprint don’t stop there.
- Consider showering at night, rather than in the morning. The benefits are two-fold – you don’t have to use a hairdryer and you aren't steaming up the bathroom when it’s already hot outside. If it’s cooler out, you can just open the windows to cool the bathroom down (rather than your AC working harder to cool the room down again). You might be surprised about the amount of energy your hair dryer uses.
- If you can’t bear to air-dry your hair, perhaps you can consider only washing it every other day – then you are using the hair dryer for half the time you would otherwise.
- Air dry your clothes. If you can hang your clothes outside, great. But, even if that's not an option, you can line dry a lot of clothes indoors. This also helps extend the life of your clothes.
If you house is like most, you have electronic gadgets in every room. These devices and charges continue to draw power even when they are not turned on. A good rule of thumb is anything that has a remote, has a digital display or has a light that's always on (think phone chargers) is drawing power constantly. It may not seem like much, but this "vampire power" can really add up.
Unplugging chargers when not in use is a great practice to get into. If you only use your digital coffee maker on Sunday mornings, there is no need to have it plugged in all week. For the larger devices, like TVs, that you may use frequently, consider getting a power cord that you can shut to off, rather than unplugging. Next time you go on vacation, spend 15 minutes before you leave to unplug as many items as you can that won't be needed while you are gone. Again, the idea here is that every little thing you can do to save a kilowatt hour really does add up to savings.
In addition to turning off lights, you should consider LED lights and CLFs. Both light use significantly less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs.
It's also a good idea to stretch your electricity a little further when cooking or cleaning, using the heat generated to your benefit. For example, when you do laundry, wash multiple loads consecutively. This way, the dryer is already warm (assuming you aren't line drying) and doesn't have to run as long to dry your clothes. The same concept is true for cooking; if the oven is already warm, cook several dishes at once and refrigerate them for later in the week.
I hope these suggestions offered you some new ideas to save on your electric bill. If you are interested in doing more, there are lots of other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.