Some Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill
Here in the Valley, the cooler months offer us a respite from the blistering high bills of summer. Many residents prefer to sign up for bill averaging programs, only to have the last bill in the series prove to be a staggering sum. Some of us also sign up for peak-rate usage savings, although, this should be approached carefully, because it could end up costing you more money.
You may or may not be one of those individuals, but we’re going to give you some tips to help you start whittling away at those little energy nibblers.
Fight the Light
During these shorter days, we turn lights on earlier than in the winter. Kids have a tendency to leave lights on, but can be taught to turn them off. This woman’s solution was a flat-out bribe: she gave her kids each a buck every month the electric bill was cheaper than for the same month the year before. It saved the family about $20 every month--a small fortune.
Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights, but, buyer, do be aware that not all LED’s are created equal. Watch carefully for Energy Star ratings.
Regular HVAC Maintenance
Does your HVAC filter look like the dryer lint trap mated with a Tribble? Get in the habit of changing it regularly. Regular maintenance of your HVAC will not only save you money, but will also extend the life of the unit. Double win.
Although once a person is asleep, their body stays warm under the covers, some people don’t like to climb into a cold bed during the winter. We know of one individual who refused to turn on her furnace in the winter, but regularly used a handheld hair dryer on a high setting to prewarm to mattress and sheets. She said it takes under a minute to warm the whole bed, which creates a warm cocoon where she could fall asleep quickly without the fear of an electric blanket shorting out or having a space heater on while she’s sleeping (which is wise, by the way. We recommend that our customers never sleep with a heating appliance on.)
Stay out of hot water
Hot water heater represents an average of 20% of your electric bill. Even lowering the temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees will make a difference. When it’s time to replace your hot water heater, consider buying one with an Energy Star rating.
Washing machines have been designed to get clothes cleaner, and laundry detergents have been designed to work more effectively. Therefore, it makes sense to use the lowest possible temperature setting when washing clothes. Also, consider using the shorter wash cycle and shutting off that extra rinse--unless you work at a meatpacking plant.
Oddly enough, a clothes pole above the washing machine might save you more money than you think. Because we live in such a dry climate, many people shut their dryer off before it can dry their clothes completely, preferring, instead, to hang them while they are still damp to air dry them.
Speaking of dryers, if you clean the lint trap after every load, your dryer will work more efficiently and last longer.
Use the oven in winter and crock pot in the summertime--or the grill.Don’t forget to flip the switch on your ceiling fan so the blades rotate in the clockwise direction. All of these little tricks on their own don’t amount to much, but over time, you’ll find your monthly bill for the same time last year was higher.
Want to save even more? Go smart. More about that on our next blog!