Posted by: Alen Malkoc on Wed, Jan 07, 2015
Saving energy is on everyone’s mind these days. It can be hard now that each household relies so heavily on such a vast array of electrical appliances to keep it functioning normally in modern times. So how can you possibly keep that energy bill down while still utilizing those devices to their full potential? This article is going to provide a few tips.
The first place to look is your kitchen, namely your refrigerator, because this is one of the greatest energy-guzzlers in the house. Check the coils beneath or behind the fridge every six months. Cleaning them will knock down its energy cost by up to 50 percent. Also if you have a model made before the new millennium, replace it with an Energy Star model to improve efficiency by another 40 percent. What should you do with the old one? Recycle it. Having a second refrigerator in your garage will cost you more than it’s worth.
Next take a look at that water heater. Do you really need hot water all day long? Try buying a timer switch to heat the water in accordance with your daily routine, or to turn the heater off when you are away from home. This can put two bucks a month back in you pocket. Annual draining will help dispose of any unwanted sediment that has built up. Also be sure the water heater and the surrounding pipes are well insulated, or you will just end up heating the pipe walls. There is no point in heating something that isn’t water.
Speaking of heating, a monthly filter change is essential in keeping your furnace running at peak efficiency and prolonging its life. You could be looking at another five bucks each month. There are some heating hacks to be discovered in the laundry room as well. Check the lint screens in the dryer. Cleaning them will increase efficiency by 30 percent and eliminate a potential fire hazard.
Meander outside and there is another big energy-sucker lurking: the air conditioner. Regular maintenance of the air conditioner every couple of years can save you big bucks. Just like the refrigerator, you want to make sure you have a newer, Energy Star AC unit, one with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13-15. Also be sure to change the filter every few months.
When it comes time to replace that light bulb, switch to a compact fluorescent light (CFL). It lasts longer than a traditional incandescent, and at a fourth the energy cost, you’re saving yourself 35 bucks a bulb.
A great and easy way to lower your electric bill is right in front of you. Your computer, your monitor, your printer, and many other electronics are using up precious power whenever they are plugged in, even when turned off. Plug everything in to a surge protector, and turn the switch off when these devices are not in use. In one year you could save enough to buy a new printer.
It might take a little bit of effort, and you may have new habits to form and old habits to breaks, but the small changes that come with keeping your electrical systems at peak performance will add up to more money in our pocket.