Saving money on our summer energy bill is not only great for the family budget, but is also beneficial to the community. It takes only a few simple steps to cut your energy bill by as much as 20%-50%.
Saving energy doesn't have to be as painful as sunburn, nor does it have to cost much money or time. It has more to do with changing a few energy-wasting habits. And where costs are involved – such as having your cooling system checked annually by a professional – the expense can be offset by making your system more efficient and longer-lasting.
- Close draperies or shades during the day to block the sun.
- Keep cool air in by installing insulation and weather stripping.
- Cook on the grill to keep cooking heat outside. When using the stove, vent heat outside with a range hood.
- Use a microwave instead of an oven. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in about one-fourth the time.
- Use the air-dry feature on dishwashers.
- Service air conditioners annually and change the filter regularly. Use a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature in your home, and turn air conditioners off when no one is home.
- Use cold water rather than hot when doing laundry. You will save about 85% of the energy it takes to wash clothes.
- Use washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers after 7pm when energy costs are lower in most places.
- Save energy by using the fast rather than slow spinning cycle when drying clothes, since the fast cycle removes more water.
- Switch to fluorescent lights that use on-third of the energy than incandescent lights.
Remember that appliances account for about 20% of your household's energy consumption. A new energy-efficient refrigerator could save from $35 to $70 a year compared to models of 15 years ago. This amounts to between $525 and $1,050 during the average 15-year life of the unit.
Remind your family of the steps, and implement them into your life.