Some Tips to Save Money On Your Electric Bill

It seems that the cost of utilities is going up every day, especially electricity. Here are some tips I found useful in lowering my electric bill. I have a 1300 sq. ft. house which is 26 years old, and has plenty of less than energy efficient windows. Also, one whole side of my house is shaded, and it's NOT the sunny side! Still, all in all, these few things helped me bring my electric bill down to almost half, even in the coldest and hottest parts of the year.

  • Unplug Everything Electrical That Is Not In Use. Do you have a lot of electronics in your house? Big screen t.v., stereo equipment, computer, etc? Try unplugging everything that "glows" or has a clock or anything else in it that needs energy when you aren't using it. That includes the t.v. Most appliances that stay "warmed up" all the time, especially electronics, use 75% of their electricity when they're turned off. Make sure to turn off your t.v. if you aren't watching it. Use a small radio for background noise if you need it, or if you're on the computer, play some music from there.
  • Check Your Hot Water Heater. Make sure your hot water is on 120 degrees. If your hot water heater is outside your house, or if it is 10 years old or older, you might need to wrap it to make it more efficient. Try taking no longer than 5 minute showers, or even "military showers", where you get wet, turn the water off, suds up, then turn it back on and rinse off. Low flow shower heads can help a lot.
  • Switch to Compact Flourescent Lights. Compact flourescent lights (CFL's) can lower your lighting bill a lot if you're in the habit of leaving lights on. They won't last as long if you turn them on and off a lot, so they are actually best for people who tend not to turn them off. Put them in the lights you use the most in your house. I have them in only 7 lights, and they work very well for me.
  • Use Supplemental Heating and Cooling. Sometimes space heaters and window air conditioners can actually be more economical to use than keeping the entire house warm or cool all the time with a central heating and air unit.
  • Try turning the heat down and placing a space heater in the room you're using. Also, you can use one to heat up the bathroom for showers, etc., and to heat up the kids rooms before they go to bed. Electric blankets and electric mattress pads can help keep that bill down as well. If you have a fireplace, it may be more economical to use that to supplement the heat if you can.
  • A small room air conditioner can use much less electricity than keeping the entire house cool, especially in bedrooms at night. You can turn your a/c off at night and just use the window a/c's. I feel for you if you live in a deed restricted neighborhood that won't allow window a/c's In that case, turn the air down to 80 and use fans. It's surprising how much cooler a fan will make you when it's blowing right on you.
  • Insulate Your Windows. Using insulated drapes can really help with keeping drafts out from around the windows, and keep the cool air inside and the sun out during the summer. Shades insulate much better than blinds. If you have a very old house, try putting plastic up over the windows in the winter, or install storm windows.
  • Wear More Clothes in the Winter, Less in the Summer. Common sense, but some people will walk around in the winter freezing with summer clothes on. Layer up. In the summer, wear as little as possible, and keep a fan going in the room when you are in it. Turn fans off when you're not in the room, because they only work on your body if you're there.
  • Drink Hot and Cold Beverages. Yes, hot cocoa really does warm you up, and iced beverages really do cool you down. Spicy foods actually do warm your body. So use food and beverage to warm or cool yourself.

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