Tips for saving money on electricity

ssavin ii

Summer set in with a vengeance today in Mississippi and my A/C drones away.  As I was outside digging in the flower bed I noticed the dial on my meter was circling furiously as power pumped into the house.  Ca-ching, ca-ching!


Short of cutting the power to your house, here are a few tips that will help tame your cost on electricity this summer.  Each will save you a few pennies, but together they can save you big time.

  1. Turn Off Your Lights: Let’s start the list off with something easy – turn off your lights!
  2. Stop Your Dishwasher from Drying Your Dishes: In the typical dishwasher cycle, the last 8-10 minutes is reserved for “drying” and it’s not much of an improvement over just opening the dishwasher at the end of the cycle.
  3. Use Table Lamps: Using lower wattage table lamps for more localized light beats higher wattage lights that brighten an entire room.
  4. Turn Lights Off When You Leave a Room: Growing up we had a rule in our house, one light per person (in general). So if you leave a room, turn off the light.
  5. Use Timers on Your Lights: For those who don’t have the discipline or memory to turn off lights, use a timer instead.
  6. Use Motion Sensors in the Garage (or other rooms): Motion sensors to turn on and turn off lights almost ensures you won’t leave a light on in a room you are no longer in, plus it’s convenient to have it turn on when you walk in.
  7. Use Task Lighting (with LED’s): Rather than lighting a whole room, use task lighting. LED bulbs for task lighting can focus light where you need it, without using a lot of energy, and no need to light the other side of the room.
  8. Hand Wash Single Dishes: Don’t be silly a run a dishwasher that’s not full.
  9. Untangle Your Drying: Tangled clothes take longer to dry because the water is trapped inside a mess of fabric. Untangle it so the clothes can flop around freely as the dryer tumbles.
  10. Hang Your Clothes Indoors: Hang drying or line drying beats a dryer.
  11. Turn Off Your Home Office: Do you have a computer in your home office? Make sure it hibernates when you aren’t using it.
  12. Unplug Your Home Office (Standby Mode Still Uses Power): When you know you won’t be using it for the rest of the day, shut her down.
  13. Go to Bed Earlier (and Turn the Lights Off): Early to bed, early to rise!
  14. Use Your Front Door Not Your Garage Door: Why go through your garage door when you have a perfectly good non-electric front door?
  15. Turn Off Your Computer (and the Monitor): When you aren’t using your computer, turn it off. Don’t forget to turn off the monitor as well. These can suck a great deal of electricity. Turn them off, and you’ll save.
  16. Turn Off Appliances When You Leave: Can you hear the radio or TV in the other room? If it doesn’t need to be on, turn it off if you aren’t using it. This goes for any number of appliances.
  17. Turn Off Lights When TV is On: Do you need the lights on when the TV is going? Besides, you’ll see the screen better with the TV off.
  18. Turn the TV Off When You’re Not Watching: How many times do you leave the TV on when you leave the room, only to never return for a long while? If the answer is “often,” shut it off when you walk out.
  19. Watch Less TV (A Lot Less for Some People): Watch less TV in general. Read a book. Go outside. Play a game as a family. Less tube time means less energy.
  20. Unplug Battery Chargers (Check the Garage Too): Leaving batter chargers plugged in can slowly leak some of the electricity. Unplug them when they aren’t in use.
  21. Switch sides of the house through the day: Close the blinds on the east side of the house in the morning, and accomplish tasks on the west of the house, with natural light. As the day progresses, close the blinds on the west side, and move to the east. You’ll stay cooler, and be able to use natural light at the same time.
  22. Take All Food From the Fridge at Once: Instead of making multiple trips and opening and closing the door more than once, get what you need at one time.
  23. Use Half As Much Light: Try swapping out your bulbs for weaker ones to see if you would even notice.
  24. Clean Dishwasher Drain: A clean drain puts less strain on your dishwasher.  (I have no idea how to do this, but I’m going to look it up.)
  25. Keep Dryer Lint Trap Clean: This is especially important for dryers, plus the lint can catch fire.
  26. Always Run Full Loads of Laundry: The washing machine uses the same amount of energy regardless of fullness, so you might as well max it out.
  27. Soak Your Dishes Before Putting them in the Dishwasher: This makes stuck on gunk easier to clean off.
  28. Check Your Dryer Before the End of the Cycle: Your clothes my be dry already: Why keep drying them?
  29. Don’t Completely Dry Clothes in the Dryer: You can always dry them part way and line dry until complete dryness.
  30. How Old is Your Dryer? (Might Be Time for a New, More Efficient Model): Older appliances suck of energy, while dryer technology hasn’t improved significantly, check the labels to find out. (Oh, oh.  Mine dates to 70s, and I don’t know why it hasn’t died.)
  31. Don’t Use the Wrinkle Shield Feature of Your Dryer: This uses extra energy.
  32. Put Scanner/Printer/Fax on Sleep Mode: Instead of leaving it on all the time, use sleep mode. It will come on only when needed.
  33. Unplug Your Phone Charger: If your phone isn’t charging, unplug the charger so that it isn’t pulling energy.
  34. Manual Gardening: Don’t use machines for your gardening. Do as much work as possible manually. Plus, you’ll get good exercise.
  35. Use a Manual Can Opener: It doesn’t take much longer to use a manual can opener, and it can save a little energy.
  36. Turn Your Coffee Maker Off: Don’t leave your coffee maker on and plugged in all the time. You’ll reduce leakage by turning it off
  37. Computer on Standby: Putting your computer on standby, or reducing the amount of time before your computer goes to sleep mode when not in use, can save energy.
  38. Unplug Your Cable Boxes: When you aren’t watching TV, unplug your cable box (unless you need it for DVR purposes).
  39. Air Dry Your Hair: Rather than use the blow dryer, let your hair air dry.
  40. Light Free Day: Try having a light free day. You might be surprised at how effective this is. See how many light free days you can have during the year.
  41. Don’t Dispose of Garbage in the Sink: Rather than run the garbage disposal, take your garbage outside. Organic garbage can be used in a compost pile to create low cost, natural fertilizer.
  42. Disconnect the Microwave Light: You probably don’t need this light, so disconnect it for a small increase in efficiency.
  43. Raise the Temperature in the Fridge: Bump up the fridge temperature by a couple degrees. It’ll still be cool enough, but won’t use as much energy.
  44. Raise the Freezer Temperature: As long as your freezer is below 32 degrees, your food will freeze.
  45. Remove One Light Bulb in Your Garage Door Opener: You don’t really need two light bulbs in the garage.
  46. Turn Off the Porch Light When You Get Home: Don’t leave it burning all night. Instead, turn it off once everyone’s home and you no longer expect visitors.
  47. USE LED Bulbs in Your Porch Light: Consider switching to a LED light bulb for your porch.
  48. Leave the Porch Light Off Altogether: If everyone’s home, and you don’t expect visitors, go ahead and turn off the porch light. No reason to leave it on.
  49. Keep the Fridge Full: No reason to cool down empty space.
  50. Rake Leaves Manually: Instead of a leaf blower, or other appliance, rake leaves. You’ll get good exercise as well as save electricity.
  51. Clean all of Your Light Fixtures: Keep your light fixtures clean, and you’ll receive more light and increase more efficiency.
  52. Keep Your Freezer Full: Your freezer doesn’t have to work as hard when there are other cold items to help keep things frozen.
  53. Cook several dishes at the one time: Plan to use your stove efficiently, cooking several dishes at once.
  54. Use a Saucepan with Dividers: Allows you to cook more items at a time, and on one element.
  55. Warm Food at 70-80 Degrees: Don’t turn it up too high if you are just warming something up, rather than cooking it.
  56. Use Pots and Pans with Well Fitting Lids: Better efficiency while cooking. This can save you energy.
  57. Cook Veggies in Simmering Water instead of Boiling: Simmering water works fine for cooking veggies, and you don’t need as much energy to get the water to the desired temperature.
  58. Use a Crockpot: A crockpot usually uses less energy than a stovetop. Plus, it doesn’t heat up the whole house and prompt extra air conditioning.
  59. During the summer, use alternate methods of cooking: Grill more in the summer, and you won’t heat up the house with the stove or oven. Consider microwave cooking as well.
  60. Thaw Frozen Foods before Cooking: You’ll use less energy trying to warm these foods up if they are thawed instead of frozen.
  61. Make Sure Your Oven Door Completely Seals: Less heat escaping means better efficiency — and less energy use.
  62. Check Your Attic Insulation: Make sure your insulation meets energy efficiency standards. This can keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
  63. Block Off Chimneys not in Use: Instead of letting the air escape, block off unused chimneys so that you don’t end up compensating for heat loss or the loss of cold air.
  64. Check all Household Filters: Your entire heating and cooling system will run more efficiently, using less energy, if your filters are clean.
  65. Ceiling Fans are Better: Get the air circulating without an air conditioner. You’ll feel cooler and use less electricity.
  66. Turn Your Air Conditioner Up: Keep it warmer during the day. Turn up the air conditioner so that it kicks on at 78 degrees instead of 70. Compensate by staying in cooler rooms during the day, and using fans.
  67. Make Sure the Doors on the Fridge Seal Well: Poor seals leak cool air, and the fridge has to work harder to keep up with demands. This can cost you over time.
  68. Keep the Fridge Clean: A clean fridge is a more efficient fridge.
  69. Don’t Buy a Larger Washing Machine than you Need: Once again, getting only what you need can help you save money.
  70. Adjust the Water Level in the Washing Machine: The more water the machine uses, the longer the cycle. Adjust the level lower, and you’ll find that your clothes are still clean, but the cycle is shorter.
  71. Use Money Saving Features on Your Appliances: If your appliances come with “smart” features that reduce energy consumption, you can save money with their help.
  72. Don’t Overload Your Dryer: Properly loading your dryer means better efficiency.
  73. Fix the Dripping Water: Stop leaks, and your home will be more energy efficient.
  74. Use Low Flow Shower Heads: Your water pump probably runs on electricity. The less water you use, the lower the power bill.
  75. Take Showers Instead of Baths: Use less water and save more money.

Just think, with the money you save, you could plan a nice vacation or in my case, I’ll buy a more efficient dryer. Do you have other energy saving tips at your house? Let us know.

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