It's that time of year when the temperatures plummet and electric bills sky rocket. There are a number of things we can all do in our homes to help reduce our energy bills. For those with older equipment in their homes this time of year is even harder. New technology means most new hot water heaters, HVAC systems, thermostats, appliances, etc. are being built with energy saving focus in their design.
This article from the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation is a great list of ideas. They present 33 Ways to Lower your Electrical Bill. We picked out our favorites and will be following up on some with more info in the coming weeks.
HVAC & Thermostats
1. Set the thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature. Moving the thermostat down one degree means as much as a three-percent reduction in your electric bill.
We have all heard our parents tell us to put on a sweater or a blanket, but it really is a great way to save. Just one degree makes a big difference. We also like to add to this point by suggesting folks upgrade their thermostats with new technology that programs itself to adjust your thermostats and save energy for you! We love the Nest thermostats and have installed them for clients and in our own homes!
We will do an article in the coming weeks on these thermostats so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Bulbs & Lighting Choices
15. Compact fluorescent lamps can replace bulbs in most table lamps and will save up to 75 percent in lighting energy, produce more light and last up to 10 times longer.
16. For more light, use one large bulb rather than several small ones. A 100-watt bulb produces more light with less energy than two 60-watt bulbs.
17. Tungsten-halogen incandescent bulbs cut lighting costs by 15 percent.
18. Use low-watt bulbs where lighting is not critical.
19. Dimmer switches are actually smarter.
Depending on how the lighting is set up in your home you may not be able to work with all of these. But adding dimmer switches is something we do for a lot of customers. It can really improve ambiance in a home and it can come with energy savings.
Of course light bulb choices help too. If you are installing or buying new lights we suggest LED when possible. But tips here like Compact fluorescents or using 1 bulb/light where possible instead of two smaller ones, are all great tips to know!
23. Cool foods to room temperature before placing them in the refrigerator unless the recipe specifies otherwise.
25. Keep the freezer full. The fuller the freezer, the less cold air you lose when opening the door.
28. While the microwave is great for re-heating leftovers, takeout foods or cooking a single dish, a conventional oven may be more economical if you're cooking several items.
29. Baking or microwaving defrosted food uses one-third less energy than starting with frozen food.
Running different cooking appliances is something we often don't think about. However if you can cook or reheat in the oven at the same time, it will save. Also keeping the fridge stocked and not adding hot items helps the appliance run for less.
You can read the full article here: 33 ways to lower your electric bill this winter