Seven Practical Ways to Save Electricity in Your Home

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Everyone continually looks for ways in which they can save money. Saving money around the house is especially important, because that is one area in which we have some degree of control. The power bill is one of the major household expenses, so it is an area in which you can learn to save. Here are a few practical ways to save on electricity in your home or place of business.

1. Insulation

Making certain that your home or building is properly insulated goes a long way toward saving money on your electric bill. Of course, there is some initial outlay in getting this done, but in the long run it will save you money, plus make your home more comfortable to live in. Check with your local home building supply store professional to see what R-rating is recommended for your climate. Then make sure that that is what your home is insulated with. If need be, add more, especially in your attic.

If you live in an older house, the walls may not be properly insulated. Homes built around the turn of the twentieth century often used newspaper for insulation. If your home has never been remodeled, you will want to have the walls insulated. This can be done by drilling out small round holes and shooting in the insulation.

Don’t forget the crawl space underneath your house, too. Cold air can come up through the floors causing your heating system to work harder. Wrap your hot water heater in an insulating blanket to save electricity here, too.

2. Windows

Double-paned windows help keep out the heat and the cold. If you can’t replace the windows in your home and you live in a climate that has cold winters, you can cover the outside of the windows with heavy clear plastic. Done neatly it doesn’t look too bad, and it will keep out much of the cold, which will save you money on your electric heating bill.

3. Lights

Changing out the light bulbs throughout your home can cut your electric consumption, too. Incandescent light bulbs use far more electricity than do the fluorescent or the newer LED lights. They both now come in screw-in type bulbs that you can use in any light fixture in your home. The LED bulbs can also be used in fixtures that use a dimmer switch. The LED lights are especially bright, yet use a small fraction of the electricity that a traditional incandescent bulb uses, and also less than a fluorescent bulb.

One trick that few people know about is that all those tiny red or green lights that light up all our devices, such as the tiny light on the computer power cord, or on a power strip use their share of electricity. Shutting them down as much as possible will save power, too.

4. Heat

If you like to use a space heater in certain areas of your home, switch out your old one for an infrared heater. These heaters use less electricity, yet provide warm, even heat. It is possible for you to initially warm up your house in the morning with your heating system, and then turn on the infrared heater to maintain the warmth for the remainder of the day. Of course this depends on the size of your home. An ordinary smaller home of approximately 24 ft. by 70 ft. (the size of the average double-wide mobile home) can be heated comfortably with two infrared heaters after the initial warm-up in the morning.

5. Appliances

When it comes time to purchase a new household appliance, such as a cookstove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, or freezer, be sure to look for the energy-efficient models. These appliances usually come with a sticker on them that tells how much energy you can expect them to use in a year.

A full freezer will keep cold with less energy used than will a less-than-full one. If you find you aren’t filling your freezer, maybe you should look into trading it for a smaller one. If your freezer isn’t a frost-free model, keeping it defrosted will help it to run more efficiently, too.

When cooking, you can often turn off a burner for the last minute or two, because the burner will stay warm for a few minutes after it’s turned off. This is an excellent way to do hard-cooked eggs—just bring the water to a boil, turn off the burner and let the eggs sit in the hot water for ten minutes, or until done to your liking. This makes tastier eggs, as well as saves electricity.

6. Hot Water Heater

Another trick that seems counter-productive, but really isn’t, is to turn up your hot water heater quite high. This way you will use less hot water, because you will be mixing more cold water with the hot, therefore using less hot. Once the hot water heater reaches it’s maximum temperature, it uses the same amount of electricity to maintain that temperature as it would if it were set at a lower temperature. Plus you have the added benefit of using less hot water. As mentioned above, be sure to insulate your hot water heater, too.

7. Conservation

This may be the most important facet of saving electricity around your home. Turn on the light(s) you need, and keep the others turned off. Don’t forget to turn off the oven or burners on the cook stove when you’re done. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. Wash only full loads of clothes whenever possible. In the summertime, hang your clothes out to dry on a clothesline. Sheets smell wonderfully fresh when dried outdoors! Turn off the TV when no one is watching it. If everyone is watching the same program, sit together in one room, rather than having multiple TVs on in various rooms. Keep your thermostat set at 68–70 degrees in the wintertime, and the air conditioner set at 75-80 degrees in the summer. When possible, just open the windows and let in the fresh air. In the winter, a ceiling fan turned on will push the hot air that puddles on the ceiling down to where it warms the lower part of the room. Just a little thought and care will help you keep your electricity usage down to a manageable level.

Also check out our list of best wifi thermostats for your home that can help you save energy and money in your utility bill every month.

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