July 16, 2019

Cut Your Electricity Bills

For most homeowners, utility bills add up to big monthly expenses.  Your electric bill is a perfect example as well as something you can take simple steps to reduce.  We all know to turn off lights when leaving a room and to make sure the television is off when no one is watching, but there are other electricity-wasting culprits around the house that you may not consider.

Air conditioning and heat costs add up! (by Savvy Housekeeping)











Anything that plugs in uses electricity.  I’m sure this isn’t news to anyone, but when you consider that many plugged-in items use power even when they’re turned off, you start to notice all of the small ways you’re wasting electricity around the house.  First, consider rooms in the home that aren’t in regular use, such as a guest bedroom.  Is there an alarm clock, TV, or DVD player in that room?  If so, unplug them until they are needed.  Devices used to charge electronics also waste electricity when they are left plugged in, even when not charging anything.  So, unplug that cell phone charger when it isn’t charging your phone!  Consider using things like digital photo frames sparingly instead of leaving them on constantly.  Finally, look for devices you keep plugged in but don’t use often, like an electric calculator or coffee maker.  Unplug these types of things when they aren’t being used and you’ll start to cut back on the wasted power you pay for each month.

Also, start thinking about your large kitchen appliances.  The refrigerator, for example, uses more electricity than any other appliance in the home.  If you don’t have an energy efficient model, consider upgrading.  Over time, the energy savings will pay for that new fridge!  Also, a full fridge takes less energy to keep cool than an empty fridge.  If you use a second fridge or freezer for additional storage, try fitting everything in the newest (and therefore most efficient) fridge.  You may be perfectly able to give up the extra unit and save yourself some money.  Run the dishwasher only when it’s full and without the heated dry option, wash laundry in cold water whenever possible, and run loads of laundry through the dryer one after the other to take advantage of the dryer already being heated.  If you have an electric stove or oven, pay attention to preheating times in order to avoid wasting electricity and turn everything off as soon you’re finished cooking.

Last, but not least, make the switch from traditional light bulbs to fluorescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Not only are they more energy efficient, but they last six to ten times longer than regular bulbs.  This one change will give you the biggest dollar-saving bang for your buck!  CFL bulbs are more expensive, but they quickly pay for themselves.  To reduce the sticker shock, replace bulbs with CFLs as they burn out.  You may also want to look into ordering CFL bulbs for a discount from your electric company, an option available to some consumers.  Adding dimmers gives you the ability to use only the amount of light you need.  You can also control lighting by using only those lamps or fixtures needed instead of lighting up the entire room.

I encourage you right now to take a tour through your home and really look at which things can be unplugged, which can be used less often, and which light bulbs can be replaced with CFLs.  Cutting back on waste is good for the environment and your wallet!

original article: https://www.realtor.com/home-garden/home-maintenance/summer-maintenance/cut-your-electric-bills-painlessly.aspx