Frugal Living – Saving On Electricity
Electrifying Ideas to Control Your Use of Electricity
To save on electricity, pay close attention to the biggest users. You’ll save more electricity (and money) by dealing with the biggest electricity-guzzlers first rather than worrying about whether it’s better to boil a cup of water on an electric burner or in a microwave. With that in mind, concentrate on your BIG energy users, which are:
Heating, Air Conditioning, Lighting, Washers, Dryers, Refrigerator, Water Heater
As we mentioned earlier, raising or lowering the thermostat will go a long way to reducing your electric bill. So, let’s look at the rest of the list.
Lighting: For appliances or electronics that are close together, plug them into a power strip. That way you can turn them all off at once when not in use.
For areas, like stairways or dark hallways, where you want a light on all the time use lower wattage bulbs. A 15-watt bulb can reduce electricity by 80% over a 75-watt bulb.
Place lamps in corners where their light can bounce off the walls and be more effective.
And, of course, use energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs when ever possible.
Washers: To save on water and electricity run only full loads of dishes and let them air dry. The same holds true for laundry. Wash only full loads and dry using a clothesline.
Washing in cold water and using a cold water detergent will also save on the cost of heating water.
Clothes Dryer: If clotheslines are not your thing or if they are not allowed in your area use the moisture sensor option so the dryer turns off automatically when clothes are dry.
Make sure that dryer loads are not too small or too big for the dryer capacity. And, remember to empty the lint trap after each load. This will help the dryer to work more efficiently.
Refrigerator/Freezer: Routinely vacuum condenser coils. Dirty coils affect the efficiency of the compressor which translates to increased electric cost.
Do not place uncovered liquids in refrigerators. Not only do they absorb undesirable flavors, liquids give off vapors that add to the compressors workload.
Additional freezers or refrigerators should be kept in the house or basement when ever possible, not the garage. The fluctuations in winter and summer temperatures make these appliances work harder which in turn uses more energy.
Water Heater: You can reduce your water heating bill by 10% by lowering the water heater temperature from 140°F to 120F°. (Keep the temperature at 140°F if you use an older dishwasher though. This helps sanitize the dishes)
Once a year, drain a bucket of water from the bottom of the water heater tank. This gets rid of sediment, which can waste energy by “blocking” the water in the tank from the heating element.
Insulating your hot water supply pipes will reduce heat loss. (Hardware stores sell pipe insulation kits.)
For older water heaters, consider buying a water heater insulation kit, which reduces the amount of heat lost through the walls of the tank.
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