Every room in your home offers possibilities for electric energy savings. Follow these tips to lower your electricity bill now and in the future.
Easy, No or Low Cost Electric Energy Saving Tips
The following energy saving tips are easy to implement and will cost you little or no money.
- Unplug appliances such as computers and monitors, coffee makers, toasters etc. when not in use. Believe it or not, appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. (According to the Department of Energy, 75% of the electricity used in the average home to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off!)
- Unplug unconnected chargers (cell phones, digital cameras, ipods, handheld video games). Chargers that remain plugged into wall outlets when not being used are using electricity — unplug them to save.
Turn it Off
- Plug televisions, entertainment center equipment and other appliances into power strips and switch them off when not in use.
- Turn off fans and lighting in unoccupied rooms.
Turn it On
- Install timer switches on indoor lights instead of leaving lights on all day or all night.
- When it is time to replace your incandescent light bulb, switch to energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs. CFL's use only one-fourth the energy and last up to 10 times longer.
- For outdoor lighting, install motion detectors (so that lights are only turned on when needed) or solar-powered outdoor lights.
- Set the air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
- Set your computer to energy saving powersave/sleep mode.
Cool it Down
- Grill meals outside during the summer to keep your home cool.
- Cook small portions of food in microwave ovens or toaster ovens (instead of using your conventional oven which raises the temperature inside your home).
- Operate your oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer during the cooler part of the day since running these appliances will raise the temperature inside your home.
- Dry your clothes on a clothesline whenever possible.
- Use the cool-down cycle in your dryer so that clothes will continue to dry using the residual heat in the dryer.
- Use ceiling and floor fans to help circulate air and make the room you are in feel cooler. In fact, use of a ceiling fan in the summer will allow you to raise your thermostat four degrees without affecting your comfort level.
- Close blinds and curtains on west- and south-facing windows during the day.
Fill it Up
- By running the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer with full loads (instead of several small loads) you'll use less electricity and less hot water. Water heating can account for 14-25% of home energy usage.
- Keep your refrigerator more than half full. The contents of your refrigerator will actually help maintain the cool interior temperature which means your refrigerator doesn't have to work as hard.
Clean it Up
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer after each load of laundry to improve air circulation.
- Clean or replace central air conditioner filters monthly for peak efficiency.
- Clean the air conditioner's outdoor condenser coil yearly so that your a/c will run more efficiently.
- Vacuum the condenser coils of refrigerators (above, below or behind the unit) every three months so that your refrigerator will operate more efficiently. This is especially important if you have indoor pets like cats and dogs. This tip will also help extend the life of your refrigerator!
Invest and Save Electric Energy Saving Tips
The following energy saving tips are not cost-free but are well worth the investment.
- Purchase products with the ENERGY STAR® label. They consume up to 30 percent less energy than other appliances. The older the appliance you replace, the more you save. For example, replacing an old air conditioner with a new, energy efficient model could save you 50% on your utility bill.
- Have a qualified professional perform an energy audit on your home so that you can identify different ways to save electricity.
- Insulate your home to save on air conditioning energy consumption.
- Install a programmable thermostat to control air conditioning and heating systems. Programmable thermostats make it easy to save energy when you are away from home or sleeping.
- Purchase a ceiling fan to circulate cool air in the summer, warm air in the winter.
- Consider buying a laptop computer which uses less electricity than a desktop computer.