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Friday, September 17, 2010

Quick Tips to save on Your Electric Bill

Our electric bill can be obnoxiously high - we live in an older home with terrible insulation, crappy windows (which we have replaced and they still are crappy) and the duct work is bad. So to save money and reduce our electrical usage is always on my mind. I always joke and say the bill comes out of my spending money and darn it I don't want to spend it on electricity!!

1. Turn off your air conditioner whenever it is possible. I only turn the a/c on when the temps are going to be over 90 degrees. Open your windows, use fans, turn off lights, dress coolly, drink cold water, close the blinds, go outside are all ways to withstand the heat. Planting shade trees can also help.
2.  The hotter the space, the harder an air conditioner must work to keep things cool. Limit the use of heat-generating appliances such as the oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer during the daytime hours when temperatures are hottest. This is obvious when you don't have your a/c on but don't forget it when you do.

3. Unplug. Gadgets like a cellphone charger or microwave suck energy -- and generate heat -- as long as they're attached to a power source. Standby power for appliances not in use typically accounts for 5% to 10% of residential electricity use. Plug those devises into a power strip that can be turned off when not in use.

4. Clean air filters monthly for central air and individual window or wall units. Dirt and dust hinder air flow, reducing efficiency and costing you money.

5. Hang your clothes out on a line. Or inside over your bathtub - in the winter this is a great way to add moisture to the air.

6. Turn off the lights at night when watching TV.

7. Turn off lights when leaving a room, even if it is just for a little while.

8. Don't take 1/2 hour showers with the water as hot as you can stand it. Challenge yourself to take a 5 minute shower - turn off the water when you are lathering up and when you are shaving your legs. A cool shower in the summer helps to withstand the heat.

9. Only wash full loads of clothing, and run full loads in the dishwasher.

10. Use energy saver light bulbs

11. Turn off computers when you are done using them. Even in sleep mode they still use electricity. It also saves the system. Heat kills a computer and if it is on it's hot no matter what mode it's in!

12. Don't turn on your heat until it is cold for good. Keep the thermostat as low as you can every degree helps lower your bill and conserve energy. Wear warm clothing, wear wooly socks, cover yourself in a blanket, use your oven, snuggle with someone are all good ways to keep warm.

13. Use your programmable thermostat if you have one - or become one yourself turning the heat down when you go to bed and up in the morning. It would be worth the cost of one if no one is home during the day so that you can keep the house as cold as possible when no one is awake or at home.

14. In the warmer months, close drapes to keep sun from coming in to heat up the house and make your air conditioner work harder. In the winter open drapes during the day to gather that sunlight-heat, and close them at night to keep heat from seeping out through the glass windows.

15. In the summer, copy the Amish - use a summer kitchen - cook in a slow cooker or a roaster in your garage.

16. Don't use your oven for just one thing - cook potatoes with your brownies etc.

Winy kids must be ignored. Let them know that the $$ you save on the electric bill will go towards their inheritance. At least that is what I tell my kids.

What are your electric saving tips?? Help a girl out and share!!
I am linking this to Life as Mom's Frugal Fridays.


  1. Excellent post! I have often wished I had a summer kitchen, especially when canning.


  2. Thats a terrific post Christy.Thanks for stopping by on my blog and the lovely words via Hearth & soul this week.Appreciate it
    Sinfully Spicy

  3. Its not easy to know about power saving because it is too hard.But kind of this posts are really useful.
    -high bay lighting

  4. It's posts like these that make me grateful that electricity is included in my rent. Great tips though!

  5. All are great ideas!!

    There are a few more that that you may want to check out Getting your home ready for winter at Moneyless Momma's!

  6. Great tips!
    I live in Florida where the AC never goes off - at least not until the heat has to go on, and here both can happen in the same day! We do what we can ::sigh::

  7. Great tips! I've also been contemplating creating a solar oven to keep the house cooler and utilize the sun instead of electricity.

  8. Steve - it isn't easy but the internet is a great tool for info!
    Joanne - lucky you! I am sure you are still not wasteful even tho it is included.
    Jessica - that is a great link!!! I love moneyless mamas - they have tons of great tips!
    Martha- my dad does the same thing - uses both a/c and heat in the same day -and we live in IN lol! And you are right - you can only do what you can do!
    Julie - I have always been intrigued with the solar oven - I hope you give it a try!