The warm summer months are here! I'm often asked if I have any ideas on how to reduce your monthly electric bill. One of my favorite tips just so happens to be the one that tends to be completely ignored: keeping your energy usage low.
Here are 29 small changes you can make to help lower your energy usage (and electric bill!):
- Keep drapes closed to keep out the heat.
- Make sure your fireplace damper is closed so cool air doesn't go up the chimney.
- Don't place lamps or TV's near your A/C thermostat. It senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Set your fan to "auto." This reduces the negative impact of improper air balances and turns the fan motor off when the unit is not cooling. Using "auto" rather than "on" can save you $15 to $25 each month on your energy costs.
- For every degree you set your thermostat above 80 degrees, you can save approximately 2 to 3% on cooling costs. You can learn more about how to hack your summer AC costs with Super Cooling here.
- Set your ceiling fans to blow down during the summer to circulate air rather than lowering your thermostat.
- Help your air conditioner by doing moisture-producing chores, such as washing clothes and dishes or mopping floors in the early morning or at night when it is cooler.
- Use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home when you shower or take a bath. Remember to turn it off when you are finished.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Approximately 90% of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating water. Save money by washing as many loads as possible in cold water.
- Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. Turning the thermostat down from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can save up to $7 per month.
- Fill your washer tub with the least amount of water necessary.
- Replace standards bulbs with LEDs. Replace your highest-use bulbs and fixtures first to save the most energy and money.
- Turn your lights off when not in use.
- Paint interior walls a lighter color. This will reflect light throughout your house and limit the need for additional lighting.
- Open the refrigerator door only when necessary. Every time you do, 30% of the cool air escapes.
- Avoid placing a refrigerator or freezer in your garage or on your patio. During the summer, an older model refrigerator in your garage or on your patio can cost $15-20 a month to operate.
- Don't keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Use the manufacturer recommended temperatures for your fridge and freezer.
- Grill outside or use your microwave in the summer to keep your kitchen cool and reduce energy costs.
- Don't preheat the oven longer than necessary.
- Run your dishwasher on a full load.
- Air-dry your dishes and save up to 20% of your dishwasher's electricity cost by eliminating the heating function.
- Run your dishwasher during the cooler parts of the day (early morning or late evening) when your air conditioner will have to work less to reduce the added heat and humidity from dishwashing.
- Create a "charging station" connected to a power strip that includes power cords for laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras. Turn the strip off when nothing is being charged.
- Leave the oven door closed during cooking. Each time you open the door, you lose about 25 to 50 degrees of heat.
- Dry consecutive loads to take advantage of the heat stored in your dryer.
- Clean the lint filter after each dryer load.
- Hang dry your clothes. Fluff them for 10 minutes with a wet rag. Your clothes will last longer and you save a ton of energy!
- Get all family members on the same page! Explain the importance of it to your kids and make it a game!
What's TIP #30? You tell us. Leave us a note in the comments to round out the list with a tip you have that saves money on your energy bill.
(Source: www.SRPnet.com- Energy Saving Tips)