We are socked in, here in the Pacific Northwest. We are in the midst of a bad blizzard. High winds and drifting snow. This has brought me to the Energy Saving Tips post. This time of year our energy consumption really takes a big jump (in most part of the US).
Here are some tips on how to stop some of that drain on your pocketbook.
1. Install a programmable thermostat. This little gizmo will automatically regulate your home’s central heat and air (not that you need that right now!) when you are asleep or away. I love mine, as I just don’t really have to think about it at all….when I wake up, it is nice and toasty. Cost about $30.
2. Replace and clean the furnace filter. Replace this filter at least once a month or better yet buy a permanent filter and wash it once a month.
3. Vacuum the coils. Dust and debris that collect on the back or bottom of your fridge, computer, air vents and cold air return makes it inefficient. So clean these regularly.
4. Check seals. Are your refrigerator, freezer and exterior door seals all tight and not leaking cold air? All or any of these may need new gaskets (rubber seal), Close the door on a dollar bill or piece of paper and if it pulls out easily than you may need to adjust your door hinge or replace the gasket.
5. Turn off the TV. A 60” plasma TV that’s on for five hours a day could cost $130 per year to run. Add a DVD player, game console or home theater system and that bill could jump to $200 a year. Compare that to a 28” tv….$30 a year. Unless you are actively watching TV, turn it off, especially if it is a plasma.
6.Unplug the computer. According to Southern California Edison, consumer electronic devices such as computers and stereos make up 15% of the typical household electricity use. Even when they are switched off, devices that are plugged in still use energy to power features we don’t really think about, such as clock displays and remote controls, in fact, the average US household spends $100 each year to power devices that are in ‘standby mode’. So use a power strip and turn it off when not using them.
7. Energy Savings Plan. Many local electricity providers offer special discounts, for special needs, seniors or low income residents. I also found out that you can save as much as 6% at my utility company if I pay an estimated use yearly. I would imagine many utility companies have this feature. Check it out.