Our electric bills just seem to be increasing these days with the number of gadgets we run throughout the day. But, saving on your energy bill doesn’t mean that you must rid your life of the technology that we’ve come to rely on. There are actually a multitude of ways to reduce your energy consumption and pocket the money you save by doing so.
We’ve all received electric bills of astonishingly unexpected cost. And, most of us have searched for solutions only to find that we’d have to spend money in order to save. The truth is though, that there are a multitude of cost-effective and simple ways to reduce our energy expense.
Simple ways to Save
For instance, many people believe that closing the air vents helps to conserve energy when in fact, doing so forces your HVAC system to work harder by continually pumping cold air into one room while that air slowly finds its way throughout the rest of your home. Keeping all a/c vents open, instead allows you’re a/c to run more efficiently, cooling all spaces at an equal rate. The same thing applies to changing your filter on a regular basis as dust and debris prevent you’re a/c unit from optimally performing its ideal air flow for your home. You’ll find that by doing this simple task, you’re a/c will remain off more often than it remains on. This in turn will reduce your energy costs.
Air flow in and of itself is an important part of energy conservation. Understanding how it works will allow you to manipulate it in a way that is monetarily beneficial to you. We all know that heat rises and so, by using your ceiling fans, which require far less energy to operate than you’re a/c unit, you can help force the sweltering summer air out faster while in reverse, when it’s cold, the ceiling fans force the hot air down, thereby warming your room. There is actually a switch on most ceiling fans that allow you to change the air flow direction; clockwise pushes warm air up and out while counter-clockwise pushes hot air down and into your home.
While most electronics and appliances only account for about 17% of your energy cost, there are some devices that are more costly such as video game systems like XBOX and PS3, desktop computers and tv’s, especially plasma versions. To actually reduce the energy consumption of these devices, you must regularly shut them off. Obviously, this would be both time consuming and bothersome so, the alternative is the plug everything into one power strip. This will allow you to shut down all devices with the simple flip of a switch.
And, believe it or not, appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators can also be used in a way that reduces your energy costs. The most obvious way to save on energy costs is to simply eliminate the use of heat whenever possible. Heating the water in your washing machine accounts for nearly 90% of the energy that your machine uses.Since hot and warm water not only consume energy, but also fade the color in our clothing and break down the fibers they’re made of, using cold water is both an energy efficient and protective way to save money while doing laundry.
Unfortunately, most of us have no choice but to use the dryer, though if you have the space to do so, air drying laundry further eliminates your electric costs as well. Properly loading your dryer though, as opposed to overloading it, which only forces it to work harder and longer, thereby increasing your energy bill, is just another effortless way to decrease your consumption. Additionally, many utility companies offer discounts for switching to power usage plans during off-peak hours so by doing laundry after 8pm, you save even more!
Just as with washing machines, reducing the heat used with your dishwasher helps to eliminate unwanted energy costs. Although the dishwasher requires quite a bit of hot water to clean everything, heat is not a necessity when drying when free air is just as effective. If you’re concerned about water spots, you can use a rinsing agent like Cascade Rinse Aid or Jet Dry which prevent water spots. These types of agents coat your dishes and utensils, making it difficult for water to stick, thereby eliminating your concern for spots as well energy consumption.Properly loading your dishwasher will also prevent you from having to run it twice, doubling your energy costs, when your goal is to reduce them.
You can also lower your home’s electric bill by keeping your fridge and freezer full. Sure, we all remember our parents telling us as children to keep the fridge closed; that’s a no-brainer. But, did you know that food acts as insulation which, as a result, lessens the amount of time that the refrigerator must run in order to stay cool? Who’d have thought?!
And, you’d be amazed to discover all the other ways to reduce your energy bill that don’t require specialized living habits.