So, you’ve set traps to guard your adjustable thermostat that would baffle Indiana Jones. Your doors and windows are hermetically sealed, you’ve changed every bulb in the house to compact fluorescent, and you BBQ everything but oatmeal.
And yet you still gasp when those power bills come!
Here are 6 things you can do to lower your electric bill without living by candlelight.
1. Use your stove top and microwave more than your oven. Your oven uses oodles more energy than the stove top. Microwave a frozen casserole instead of warming it in the oven. According to the Energy Star Program you could save up to 80 percent on your kitchen energy usage. Also, don’t let pots go topless! Think modesty when it comes to heating things up…in the kitchen. Food cooks faster with the lid on.
2. Don’t use your air conditioner unless you absolutely have to! Air conditioners are a real money suck. (When I first typed that I had a typo that read “monkey suck”). Use fans, ceiling fans, wall mounted or free standing whenever possible. If you live in a dry climate get a swamp cooler! I got one and have saved thousands of dollars. It literally paid for itself in the first three months of use. If you must use your AC be sure your filters are clean.
Speaking of filters …
3. Clean your filters. You’ll save big by keeping clean machines. Vacuum the coils on the fridge. Check your manufacturer’s instructions to learn how. Check filters on your furnace and clean or replace as necessary. Clean the lint filter each time you use your clothes dryer. Every six months thoroughly clean your clothes dryer with a lint remover that fits on your vacuum – like this: Gardus RJR601 LintEater Junior Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit, 4-Piece
This will help it run more efficiently (and less likely to burn your house down).
4. Saving water saves money. Divas aren’t all wet. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth or wash your hands. Use a timer for watering your landscaping and don’t over water your plants. I use this one – Nelson 56600 Shut-Off Water Timer. Take shorter showers instead of baths. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to keep from having to let the water “run cold” for a drink. If you have a pool, use a cover to slow evaporation. Lower the temperature on your water heater so it doesn’t have to work so hard and you don’t scald your hands again.
5. Cook meats from room temperature. The same goes for casseroles, eggs and other refrigerated dishes. I’m NOT telling you to leave your steak on the counter for hours, just long enough to take the chill off. Your meat will cook better too because setting cold meat on a hot cooking surface shocks the meat and it will cook unevenly. If you’re cooking a casserole, take it out of the fridge at least 45 minutes before cooking. Not only will your food be tastier but you save a couple of dimes in energy costs, and by dimes I mean dollars.
6. Unplug. If you’re not using an appliance, unplug it. Anything that has an indicator light telling you it’s plugged in is using electricity. All. The. Time. This goes for all electronics, TVs, printers, computers, microwaves, even phone chargers and toys. While you’re at it, turn off some lights. I can’t help myself, I had to say it.
The important thing to remember is: you don’t pay for electricity that you don’t use. Even the seemingly little savings add up to big savings in the long run. You can use the money you save to do something wild and crazy – like use the monkey sucking air conditioner!