Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tips On Saving Electricity

For the past month I've been working really hard at saving electricity. I am anxiously awaiting my bill (15 more days!) to see how it has been impacted, and will let you know as soon as I do!

Here are my tips for saving electricity.

Turn off the lights - No, you don't have to live in utter darkness, but only turning on the lights that you need can have a huge impact. In the morning I use natural light, sometimes aided by my bedside table lamp, rather than turning on the bedroom light that has (count it) 5 light bulbs. When I'm cooking dinner, I leave the family room and hallway lights off. Once my husband gets home, I turn off the front porch light. And when we're curled up on the couch watching TV we turn the lights off altogether - movie time!

Get a good down comforter - With a great down comforter you can turn the thermostat down even further at night and not even notice it. Adding a top sheet will also trap your body heat in with you and keep you even warmer. Sometimes I even find myself too warm, even in the dead of winter! If you'd like to turn your thermostat down earlier at night as well, you can use a bed warmer to kick start the heat under your covers.

Buy a programmable thermostat - Just like automated payments, programmable thermostats make energy savings automatic. Set your thermostat low at night; start dropping the heat an hour or so before bedtime, and don't start it up again until just before you get out of bed. Hearing the heat come on in the morning can be a great way to start naturally waking up, and if you're already toasty warm from sleeping under a good down comforter, you won't need the air temperature to be too warm when you first get up. Turn the heat down again during the hours you aren't home, and try notching the thermostat down a degree from your norm when you are home. I find 68 degrees is almost too warm for me now!

Close the vents in rooms you don't use - Closing the vents in seldom entered rooms pushes the heat into the rooms you are using, and there's no sense heating a room you're not going to be in. Closing the door can also keep the cold away from the rest of your nice warm house.

Put on a sweater - Feeling chilly anyway? Grab a sweater, or some sweats! This is part of my daily routine when coming home, and there's an added bonus. By changing out of my work clothes into some snuggly clothes as soon as I get home, I keep my work clothes cleaner longer and don't have to wash them as often. Less time in the laundry room equals even more savings!

Keep blankets in convenient places - Leave blankets lying over the arm or your couch or in a trunk used as a coffee table for easy access. That way, while you're curled up on the couch you'll be more likely to wrap a warm blanket around yourself when you feel a chill than to get up and notch up the thermostat.

Light a fire - Being married to a contractor means I end up with a lot of free wood, even if it's not the prettiest firewood imaginable. But there are plenty of ways you can stock up on free wood, too. Try Craigslist or Freecycle to find people giving away firewood, and if you ever do a home improvement project (like replacing a fence) that leaves you with scrap wood, save it for winter!

Leave the oven open after you're done cooking - I love to prop the door of my oven open after I've pulled the food out of it. It's always so lovely and warm when I open it, why not let the rest of that lovely warmth come out?

Wash your clothes on cold - Besides washing your clothes less often, washing on cold can be great for a number of reasons. By not using hot water you're saving more energy, but you're also saving your clothes. Cold water means less shrinkage, less stains setting in, and better color retention. Your clothes will look newer longer, and that means extra pennies in your pocket!

Caulk your windows - Make sure that your windows are properly caulked and sealed so all the nice heat you're paying for isn't just seeping out of your house.


And last but not least...

Get a cat - They make fantastic lap warmers!



Update on how my tips worked for me coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. Other than closing/opening the vents in rooms, you should also clear them of dust and grime so you can have a clear and clean passageway of air. And always check your wiring every now and then for some exposed wires. That way, you can prevent power failures and accidents from happening.

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