Reducing Your Family Electric BillFebruary 12, 2015
When the bills start to climb because of rising electricity prices, there’s plenty of things to be done to reduce energy costs aside from turning out the lights when you leave the room. Here are some tips and tricks for slashing the bills.
Switch to CFL Light Bulbs
Switching to compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, commonly known as fluorescents, can be a quick and easy way to save money. These bulbs use around 75 percent less energy than the standard incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer. This amounts to roughly $35 per bulb for the duration of its lifetime. Furthermore, these bulbs can be recycled when they’re finished.
Paint the Roof White
It may seem like a strange solution, but painting the roof with a white, elastomeric coating can save on the electricity bills. The evidence from this comes from a 1999 study found that in sunny climates, the houses with white roofs used 40 percent less energy for cooling than houses with black ones.
Maintain the Air Conditioner
Heating and cooling make up a large portion of the electricity bill and one big energy drain is the air conditioner, especially if it’s dirty and not properly maintained. Changing the filters, lubricating the motor and cleaning should all be part of the process to keep an AC running efficiently. A checkup by a professional every 2-3 years is also advisable. Finally, make sure that the AC is not getting direct sunlight as units use about 10 percent more electricity this way.
Everyone has forgotten to turn lights off at least once before going to sleep, so doing nightly sweeps that check can be a big energy saver. Check all the rooms for lights and appliances that have been left running unnecessarily. One thing to keep in mind is even when electronics aren’t turned on, if they are still plugged in they’re draining energy. So once the charge on that laptop is done, make sure to unplug it. One easy method is to plug all the electronics into a power strip so one simple switch turns them all off.
Clean the Refrigerator Coils
According to Tara Energy, a company that has the best rates in Texas, the refrigerator is one of the biggest culprits for energy usage in the kitchen. There’s no getting rid of your refrigerator, of course, but doing a regular cleaning of the brush and vacuum coils, located on the bottom or back, can help this appliance run more efficiently. Interestingly, the fridge and freezer also run more efficiently when they are full stocked so if you find the fridge empty either make a run to the supermarket or fill the space with frozen water containers.
Water Heater at 120 Degrees
Turns out the water heater should be left at 120 degrees is the most efficient. The EPA estimated that a heater at 140 degrees wastes an upward of $36 annually. Turning the electric heater off and the gas heater down, especially if you head out of town for the weekend, is a great way to save some cash.
Installing a Smart Meter
According to Tara Energy (www.taraenergy.com), getting a time-of-use meter will let you know when the electricity is cheaper during certain parts of the day. The programs vary amongst the different companies, but it’s all basically the same concept of monitoring how much electricity your household is using. Some companies even offer money for signing up so not only do you have the chance to save in the long run, you can get bonuses for using electricity when it’s cheaper rather than at peak hours.