How To: Cut Your Electric Bill
Home Efficiency Check
Do you know how energy efficient your home is? Did you know that some appliances are using electricity (and costing you money) even when they’re switched off? How do you figure out which items in your home are an energy hog? Watch Jeff’s How To: Cut Your Electric Bill – Home Efficiency Check video – the first in the series.
- Switch to water saving shower heads to save hot water. Sure, you’ll save on the amount of water you use, but you’ll also be saving on the cost of running your water heater (and your well pump, if you have one). This quick switch is a no-brainer with multiple energy savings benefits.
- Lightbulbs – we all know that fluorescent lights are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent varieties, but LEDs are even better! While compact fluorescent bulbs are 75% more efficient than incandescents, LED bulbs are 85% more efficient and have nearly double the life expectancy of fluorescents. Bonus: many LED lights come with a 5 year manufacturer warranty for material and workmanship.
- Winter insulation on your windows doesn’t have to block sunlight. Mist a window with a water filled spray bottle and apply a trimmed section of bubble wrap to the window, no adhesives or tape necessary. This is a simple tip that’s easy to put up and take down. If you’re not a fan of the look, reserve this hack for seldom used rooms at the back of your house or consider using cold blocking thermal curtains.
- Believe it or not, plugged-in appliances continue to consume energy when they are turned off. This is often referred to as “ghost energy” and the cost really adds up. Coffee pots, microwaves, DVD players, and other electronics that have timers, lights, clocks built in may be pulling energy even when they’re switched off. Luckily, many Energy Star models have energy saving options to turn those feature off. If you’re not sure, we recommend the Kill A Watt device – just plug it into a wall outlet and plug the appliance into the meter. It does the calculating for you. If you’ve got “ghost energy” running up your meter, install a power strip with an on/off strip that can be switched off when the item is not in use.
- Moist air holds heat better. Implementing a humidifier in your home during the dry winter months will help hold the heat in the air meaning less on time for your in home heat system.
- Did you know ceiling fans will rotate in two directions? If you can’t remember which is which, you can note “S” for Summer and “W” for Winter on the switch and set a calendar reminder to change the direction seasonally.
- During winter heating, to help move warm air that is trapped on the ceiling, blades should turn ‘forward’ in a clockwise motion. This movement will push up the air and pull the warm trapped air down the sides of the room improving heat distribution.
- During hot summer weather, to help produce a comfortable breeze or ‘windchill’ that cools the skin, blades should rotate in a ‘reverse’ counter-clockwise motion. The air movement has the same comfortable effect as when you fan yourself with a magazine to get relief from hot, stifling air.
Ceiling fans in themselves do not heat or cool a room, but the ceiling fan rotation allows improved air circulation, which can greatly improve the comfort of your living space. You can also save in energy costs when the ceiling fan is on the correct setting to support your cooling or heating efforts.
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