With the rising costs of natural resources and a variety of other products now is the time to start saving money when it comes to your electric bill. It is easy to use your energy wisely in a cost effective manner that benefits you, and as an added bonus, the environment. Hahner Electric is dedicated to assist our customers in becoming more energy efficient.
Here are a few tips that we have found effective in lowering electric costs that are simple to do at home and in the workplace.
• Make sure to turn off all lights, appliances, computers, and other electrical equipment when not in use during the day, and especially at night. Any cord that contains 3 prongs or houses a transformer or inverter draws energy when plugged in, even when not in use. That means that devices, such as your cell phone charger, are costing you money when plugged in. The same is true about devices that contain clocks, such as a coffee pot. Power is constantly being used to keep the clock working, though coffee is not constantly brewing. Most kitchens contain clocks in other locations, which means unplugging your coffee pot when not in use is a smart and easy energy saving tip.
• Installing a power strip for your television and other areas where there are many different devices plugged in at one location also makes energy saving sense. Turning your power strip off at night and during the day when you are at work or not using those devices saves you energy and money as well.
• The installation of more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs is perhaps the easiest and most cost effective tip there is. It is true that there is a large initial cost per new bulb, but the truth of the matter is that you will see the decrease in your energy bill within the first month of use. You will in effect earn back the money you spent on the bulb within the first month to two months after use. When you compare the overall savings, fluorescent bulbs just make sense.
• Using a timer for lights inside and outside the house is another energy saving trick. If you need to leave a light on for when you return home from work at a regularly scheduled time, a timer is a perfect device to use instead of leaving your lights on all day. A timer can also run on a random schedule for a second home to make it appear to outsiders that someone lives there year round.
• Make sure that all windows and doors have weather stripping affixed to them. This reduces air flow in and out of these areas, and therefore your house. Draft dodgers and door guards are similar and effective as well.
• If you do not use every room in your house on a daily basis, closing the vents for heat and air conditioning is another effective tip. This way the air flows more effectively through the rest of your house and is not wasted trying to regulate an unused room.
• Paddle fans are an easy and attractive way to help control the temperature of your house. By changing the rotation down in summer months and setting the speeds to medium or high, a room can be cooled by 4 to 5 degrees. Most paddle fans use less electricity to run than a 60 watt light bulb. In the winter months you can make a noticeable difference in the temperature of a room by setting the fan on a low speed and changing the rotation up to pull the hot air down to your living space.
• Programmable thermostats are an easy and effective way to regulate and manage the temperature of your house. The temperature while you are at work or sleeping does not have to be as high or low as when you are home. Setting the thermostat at 72 degrees as opposed to 68 will help reduce your electric bill, because you’re your compressor does not have to work as hard to maintain a constant lower temperature.
• Installing blinds and curtains can help reduce drafts and energy transfers.
• When buying new appliances, try to pay attention to ensure that you buy the most energy efficient appliances on the market. Remember to closely compare the appliance to what you currently use and what you are interested in purchasing, and not just rely on an energy efficient sticker. Try to purchase a refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom, as it is easier for the cold air to move and circulate if it does not have to work as hard to push the air up to the top of the fridge.
• Using the cold water setting on your washing machine will use less energy than a hot water setting. Drying your dishes by hand and not using the drying heat setting can also be beneficial.
• Servicing your furnace and air conditioning on a yearly basis will help them to run more efficiently. Cleaning your outside compressor by removing the top grill and gently hosing the fins off without bending them, will increase airflow, therefore assisting the efficiency of the unit. Changing filters at least monthly also improves air flow, and allows your units to work at a more constant speed.
• Remember to vacuum out the dust on your condenser coil on your refrigerator, as well as the lint compartment on your dryer, on a regular basis to increase the efficiency of each unit.
• Attics and crawl spaces should be properly insulated so that the cold air in the summer stays inside and the hot air in the winter stays inside. This allows your house to properly regulate itself.
• Attic fans can help reduce excess heat in your attic during the summer months.
• Installing dimmer switches on incandescent light bulbs reduces the use of electricity and extends the life of the bulb. Also, be sure to turn of the lights each time you leave the room as it does make a difference.