Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simple Ways to Reduce your Electricity Use

Here in Texas it is H.O.T! We are in a severe drought (We did get 2 inches a few days ago! Praise The Lord!) and our lows are in the 90s. I refuse to even think about the high temperature! If its over 100 I just don't even want to know!! 

With all this extreme heat, come lots of extreme energy use! We opened our electric bill this month and knew there just had to be a mistake! We called the electric company, and there is no mistake. They explained that everyone in the area is experiencing similar problems, because of the extreme heat appliances such as air conditioners just can't keep up. The A/C is constantly going. We decided its time to find some ways to make some simple changes. Every little bit counts! Saving energy is good for your pocket book and good for the environment! While saving some green you are also 'going green' and reducing you carbon footprint!

Simple Ways to Reduce your Electricity Use:

1. Turn your thermostat up! (For winter, do the opposite) Even just a few degrees can make a BIG difference! If you normally have your A/C set at 72 try 75. The The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) recommends setting your thermostat to 78.  Use fans to make the room feel cooler. When you are away from home, turn your thermostat up to 85. Make sure all blinds and curtains are closed to keep the sun from heating up the home.

2. Turn off all lights and small appliances when not in use. Unplug all appliances not in use. Standby power for appliances not in use typically accounts for 5% to 10% of residential electricity use.

3. Consider energy efficient windows or UV-resistant coatings for your windows. Blinds, curtains, drapes, ect all help to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

4. Turn your refrigerator down. Refrigerators account for about 20% of Household electricity use. Use a thermometer to set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible.

5. Wash clothes in cold or warm water, NOT hot. Just switching 2 loads a week from hot to warm can save a tremendous amount of electricity. Cold water saves energy and is better for your clothes.Line Dry clothes whenever you can. Line drying saves up to 5% on energy use!

6. Make sure your dishwasher is full before running a wash cycle. Use the Air Dry setting. Not using heat in the drying cycle can save 20 percent of your dishwasher's total electricity use.

7. Turn down your hot water heater. Water heaters are normally set at 150, but 120 is a more ideal setting. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 440 pounds for a gas heater. If every household turned its water heater thermostat down 20 degrees, we could prevent more than 45 million tons of annual CO2 emissions - the same amount emitted by the entire nations of Kuwait or Libya. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket, which costs just $10 to $20 & can save lots of energy use!

8. Clean or replace air filters as recommended. Energy is lost when air conditioners and hot-air furnaces have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters. Cleaning a dirty air conditioner filter can save 5 percent of the energy used. 

9. Change your routines a bit to limit the use of heat-generating appliances such as the oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer during the daytime hours when temperatures are hottest. This prevents your A/C from having to work harder using more energy.

10.Swapping incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent can cut a home electric bill.Switching one incandescent for a CFL saves $35 in energy costs over the projected 10-year life of the bulb. Not only do CFLs use less energy than conventional bulbs, but they also generate less heat.

How have you reduced your electric bill? Share your tips and tricks bellow in the comments or hop on to our facebook or blogfrog community to discuss your energy savings with us!

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