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Monday, July 14, 2014

Thrifty Tips: 10 Ways To Save On Your Electric Bill During The Summer Months!


Temperatures are rising out there....but that doesn't mean your electric bill has to go up, too!  With these simple tips, you'll be able to save a nice chunk o' change on your electric bill, with very little effort.  No need to budget more money for your Summer expenses - just follow these easy steps to keep cool without sacrificing your savings!

Change Filters Regularly - The harder the air has to push to flow through, the more energy it's using.  Change your filters in your air conditioner (and furnace!) monthly to avoid clogging it up.  You'll be surprised how efficiently the A/C runs with fresh filters!
Stockpile Freezer - If you're a stockpiler, like us, you probably have a deep freezer in your home.  This saves tons of money by freezing the items you can purchase in bulk for cheap!  Here's a tip-  put that extra freezer (or refrigerator) in the basement, if you have one.  It's much cooler down there, and it won't have to work so hard (use so much energy) to keep cold!  Check out some of the items you may not have known you can freeze - to save time and money, HERE!


Power Strip - If your small appliances have transformers on them (little black cube at the end of the cord), you may want to avoid plugging those into the wall sockets.  Even when you believe your appliances and devices are turned all the way off, the power may still be on if it's plugged in.  This uses unnecessary energy and makes your bill rise.  Either be sure to unplug when not in use, or grab a power strip and plug all of them into it.  That way, when you are ready to turn them off, you can just turn the power strip off.  Just be sure these aren't items that require extra work to re-program!
Replace Appliances - Have you owned any of your major appliances or air conditioners for more than 10 years?  If so, they are draining your wallet by using excess energy!  Purchase new appliances with Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of 10, and you'll potentially cut the cost of running them by almost 50%!  When you purchase new appliances, the out of pocket cost can be reduced by watching for sales, using rewards and checking TBL frequently.  In the long run, you'll be saving money by replacing out -dated, older appliances.



Dial to Comfort - Keeping your thermostat at a constant temperature may seem like a great idea, because you assume your electric bill will be lower, since you aren't moving the dial.  Raising and lowering the temperature can save you a ton of money!  If you aren't home during the day, turn it up.  If you sleep better when it's cooler in your home, turn it down.  Adjusting the temperature to fit your daily schedule will make sure you aren't "wasting" that amazing cool air you want to feel when you need it most! 
Keep it On-  You may believe that turning your A/C off when you leave the house, is saving you money.  That's a common misconception - because when you turn it off, the energy it has to use to cool the entire house again is much more than you might think.  Simply turn it up when you leave the house, instead of "off."  When you get home, you can turn it down again, and your unit won't have to work as hard to cool the area all over again!  In fact, it's a great idea to invest in a programmable thermostat.  This way, you don't have to worry about fluctuating the temperature manually, and can rely on the program feature to do that for you!
Fans - Fans won't "cool" the air around them, but they do circulate the air, creating a breeze that makes the room feel cooler.  When you have fans running, turn your thermostat up.  Not only are they already using energy by being plugged in, you won't need the cooler air from the A/C anymore! Placing fans on opposite sides of a room can also help create a nice tunnel of cool air that will be expelled and distributed nicely.
Laundry & Dishes - Washing dishes by hand will reduce the use of your dishwasher, which isn't anything shocking.  But, when you use your dishwasher, you're putting out more heat into your house, causing your A/C unit to have to work harder to compensate!  Grabbing some paper plates and plastic utensils for the hotter months, will help you avoid having to wash too many dishes and save on that hot air being expelled from your machine.  You can also opt to purchase a rinsing agent (like Jet Dry) that will take the place of the heated dry mode.  Your dishes will be clean, and you'll just need to dry them off as you take them out and put them away.  On the same note, wash your laundry in COLD water, if you can.  When you wash intimates, bedding and towels, be sure the load is full before using your hot water.  As for your dryer, be sure there's room in there for the hot air to do its job.  Packing the dryer with as much as you can will likely take longer to get the items dry. 
Non-peak Discounts -  Give your energy company a call to ask about non-peak discounts.  We know.....it's a pain in the rear to sit on hold and deal with representatives transferring you all over the place, but this is worth it!  Most energy companies offer discounts on using your power after specific times (8pm is generally what we see).  Ask them about those times, and try to do your laundry, run your dishwasher and use any other big appliances during that time slot.  You also may want to ask the rep for more discounts they offer on your energy bill - it never hurts to ask!
Heavy Drapes - Instead of opening the curtains to allow for the sun to come through, consider closing them to keep the heat out.  Heavy drapes can also help in keeping the sunny side of your house or apartment cooler.  Don't want to sacrifice the sunlight?  Grab some DIY window film!  This will allow you to see outside, and will let some light in - but keep the heat at bay.  In fact, it will help reduce the amount of heat that gets through your windows by about 30%!!  Check out some options HERE.  You may also want to put some potted trees in front of the windows to help shade your room from the sun.  This will also give the foliage what it needs - sunlight!  This also works on the outside - planting trees and large bushes in front of windows gives you privacy AND shade.
(Thanks, Dino!)

Do you have great tips for saving on your energy bill during the Summer?  We'd love to hear them and share!  Leave your best tips in the comments!

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