As it turns out many of the best ways to save on electricity do not require large investments of money or time. Over the next few weeks, I will be implementing the following practices from Josco Energy New Jersey in an attempt to reign in our high electric bills.
Seal the house up. I’m fairly certain there is money leaking through the cracks around our window and doors. It’s easy to just buy some weather-stripping and caulk and seal up the cracks. We actually have some caulk left from earlier projects. Consumer Reports says you can reduce your energy costs by as much as 14 to 30% by sealing leaks in your house.
Heat-generating appliances should be used at night. This one is a no-brainer, however, I do like to bake, and since I work at home, I’m able to bake whenever I am in the mood. However, a hot oven during the hottest part of the day will force the air conditioner to work harder in order to keep your home comfortable. Innovative heating systems can help you save a bunch and lower your green footprint, though even they should be used as little as possible. The same thing is true with dishwashers and clothes dryers. These should be used at night when the temperature outside is cooler.
Wash your laundry using cold water. Experts say washing clothes in cold water rather than hot can save you $152 a year.
Go old-school and use a crockpot. Nothing heats up a house quicker than preheating your oven and having a couple of pans going on your stove top. On the other hand, a slow cooker, will use a lot less energy and will not turn your kitchen into an inferno. The crockpot seems to get a bad rap due to its old slow cooking method. It is often associated with bland recipes made out of prepackaged and canned ingredients. However, the slow cooker is enjoying a revival of sorts. It is coming with improved recipes like triple chocolate brownies and pulled-porked sandwiches.
Air-dry your clothes. In theory, I do like this idea. People have reported that it helps to reduce their average daily electricity costs significantly. I haven’t personally tried it yet because I do have concerns about allergens from the air getting into our clothes. It’s always allergy season here. However, if you have enough spare room, you could always dry your clothes indoors on hangers. We have enough space inside our laundry room where we can hang a fair amount of clothing. So I’m going to start doing more air drying.
Turn fans on. Fans can help make a room feel a lot cooler. We had one inside our living room but it stopped working several weeks ago. I need to get it fixed. According to Bluejay, that could save $438 a year.
Unplug electronics. Yes, I know that’s obvious. However, I always forget about things like camera battery chargers and phone chargers. They always seem to stay plugged in, and suck money out of our bank account. I could use power strips to shut the electricity off from those devices all at the same time. It was also found by Consumer Reports that you can save $25-$75 per year by just placing your computers on standby.
Don’t forget about your light bulbs. According to Bluejay, you can save $274 per year by just turning off lights that you are not using. Turning off one 100-watt light bulb from running continuously can save $131 per year, and replacing ten 60-watt light bulbs and using compact fluorescents instead can save you $123 per year (there is an estimated upfront cost of $32).
Don’t cool down a house that is empty. Program your programmable thermostat if you have one. We don’t, so I need to make it a habit to increase the temperature whenever I leave the house. Also, close off the rooms you are not using.
Replace your air filters every month. We do a pretty good job at keeping our filter replaced, but we still could do a little better. A dirty filter restricts airflow and causes your air conditioner to use more energy and run longer. I have added this task to my calendar so I make sure to replace the filter every month.
This is a collaborative post.