A Dozen Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill
Now that spring is here and warmer weather is on the way, there are plenty of things you can do around the house to save energy and money. Try these 12 energy-saving tips:
1. Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
2. Turn on the ceiling fan. Cooling with ceiling fans will allow you to raise the thermostat four degrees because the moving air makes it feel as if it cooler on your skin. If you don’t have ceiling fans, use a regular box or oscillating fan.
3. Don’t use the oven or stove. On warmer spring days, keep the heat out by cooking on an outdoor grill. Or have a cold meal, such a sandwich and salad or chilled soup.
4. Install window treatments. Energy-efficient blinds, shades and films can help keep the heat out when temperatures rise. They not only improve the look of your home but also reduce energy costs.
5. Raise the thermostat. On warm days, setting a programmable thermostat to a higher setting when no one is home can help reduce energy costs by as much as 10 percent.
6. Seal and insulate ducts. Air loss through ducts can lead to high electricity costs, accounting for nearly 30 percent of a cooling system’s energy consumption.
7. Get rid of incandescent light bulbs. Replacing them with CFL (compact florescent light) bulbs is a smart move. They can pay for themselves in a little over a year.
8. Use natural lighting as much as possible. Avoid heavy window treatments and instead opt for translucent shades that provide privacy while allowing light into the space. Clean your windows. And if your lights are on a timer, check them to ensure they are only on when needed.
9. Look for the Energy Star label. This international standard of energy efficiency is available on a wide range of consumer appliances. You can save up to 30 percent on related electricity bills by using products that bear the Energy Star label.
10. Air dry your laundry instead of using the dryer. Clothes dryers are responsible for as much as six percent of a household’s electric bills so use them as sparingly as possible. Plus, sunlight has natural bleaching and natural disinfecting properties that get remove stains and kill germs.
11. Reduce your water heater temperature. Make sure your water heater is turned down to save energy on heating bills. Water heated to higher temperatures also poses the safety hazard of scaling.
12. Clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils. When dust and pet hair build up on them, the motor works harder and uses more electricity. Make sure the sure the coils are cleaned and air can circulate freely.