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How to Cut Electric Bills
Is there anyone who does not remember Dad going from room to room turning out the lights? It’s just not that easy anymore. There are an amazing number of things in your home you don’t realize are burning up the power grid and costing you money. Everyone of them can be tamed and you can cut your electric bill way down by looking at all the ways electricity is being wasted in your home or office. Here are a few ways to save on electric bills.
How to Save Money on Electric Bills
Aside from the obvious ideas like turning out the lights when you leave the room, there are many hidden ways to save money on your electric bill:
Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs when making your next light bulb purchase. You can reduce your electric bills by a very large percentage just by changing bulbs. Don’t be afraid of the scare tactics surrounding disposal of these bulbs. Every new thing to hit has come with the warnings. There are ways of disposing of these items properly.
Use a timer to control lights you want to leave on for safety. While the timer itself uses electricity, it is far less than leaving a light burning all day or all night. Timers are especially good for outdoor lighting. You can save a lot of money by having the lights come on at dusk and off around midnight. Lights on a motion detector can provide you security without being on all the time.
Any appliance that works from a remote control is never really turned off. It is constantly using electricity in order to be activated by the remote. Consider hooking those types of equipment to an outlet that is controlled by a wall switch. Items such as a digital picture frame might be well suited to this. Some remote control items to consider running from a power strip might be a VCR, DVD player or sound system. You may not use these everyday so why not just flip on the power strip when you’re ready to use them? The same can be said for your television especially if you have more than one in your home and you rarely use all of them.
Turn off your computer and printer when you’re not using them. If you’re going away on vacation, you can unplug your computer and save even more money. (Look at the back of your computer when it’s off – betcha you got some lights on in there some where!)
Be aware of how long you stand gazing into the refrigerator hoping to find something special. You’re letting out a lot of cold air.
Keep the coils underneath your refrigerator clean. Gently vacuum them once a month to keep the dust bunnies from accumulating. Dust bunnies around the coils make the refrigerator work harder to stay cold.
Take shorter showers. You’d be shocked and amazed at how much energy it takes to heat your water and a shower lets gallon after gallon of hot water just run down the drain. Don’t let the water run too long while waiting for it to heat up.
Install an energy efficient shower head. It uses less water which means less energy to heat it and they usually feel great too. Keep an eye out for faucet leaks. If it’s the hot water faucet dripping, you’re wasting the energy that was used to heat the water. Wasting energy is the same as wasting money.
Don’t use dishwashers, clothes washers or dryers unless you have a full load.
Get to know your clothes dryer and how long it really takes to dry a load of clothes. It might be running longer than it needs to.
Clean the dryer filter after every load. The more lint that piles up, the less efficient the dryer becomes and it’s a fire hazard. Make a habit of vacuuming the entire vent system of the clothes dryer on a regular basis. It only takes a few minute to do. Maintaining a clear lint path will allow you clothes to dry faster and eliminates a potential fire hazard.
Install a programmable thermostat for your house heater. Most can be set to allow for four to six time changes per day and many allow for different settings on the weekend.
Your house heater probably uses the most electricity of all your household appliances. Take good care of it. Have it serviced and cleaned every year. Change the air filter every month. It will save you money and keep your air healthier too.
Let the sun shine through your windows to heat your home in the winter. Cover the windows to shade your home in the summer.
Seal up holes and gaps where cold air can sneak into your home. Consider replacing old, drafty windows. The money you save in heating and air conditioning bills will make it well worth the cost sooner than you think.
Don’t rely on a fireplace to heat your home. In reality, the hot air is going out the chimney along with the smoke. When you’re not using the fireplace, close the damper to prevent the loss of hot air.
I counted seven remote control units in my living room alone – that’s seven appliances that never, ever turn off. I’ve got to work on that!
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