With gas prices climbing and the economy showing no signs of improvement, it’s important to take little steps in lowering that hefty electricity bill that puts a dent in your paycheque each month.
If you’re sick of paying for an expensive electricity bill, or if you’re simply hoping to become more environmentally-conscious, here are eight easy ways that will help you not only save more green, but adapt to a greener lifestyle as well:
1. Turn off the lights
This may seem obvious, but this point cannot be stressed enough. Shutting off all of the lights in your house during the day while you’re at work may only save you 7 to 10 cents per day, but it adds up when you look at the final cost of your monthly bill.
2. Replace your regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs may be a tad expensive, but they use 25% less energy and will actually last 7 to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs. (They also generate less heat, which is ideal during the hot summer months).
However, do not use florescent light bulbs in rooms that have high humidity (like bathrooms) because they are extremely sensitive to moisture.
3. Turn off your power bars
If your answer machine, alarm clock, DVD player and TV are plugged into the same power bar, then try switching it off while you’re at work during the day. By doing so, you could save as much as 0.6 kWh per day (or 20 kWh per month); however, if you have pay-TV services such as pay-per-view, it may be a good idea to keep your cable television converter on at all times, otherwise your cable company will have to reset it for you.
4. Use a fan instead of an air conditioner
This may be difficult if you have respiratory problems, a heart condition, or if you are vulnerable to heatstroke, but air conditioners are huge energy wasters and can essentially hike up the cost of your monthly electricity bill. If you absolutely have to use an air conditioner, then purchase one with a built-in timer so you don’t waste energy while you’re at work or away from your home.
5. Take advantage of your curtains and window shades
Not only do curtains and shades on your windows help keep in heat during the winter, they can also block sunlight or heat during the summer as well.
6. Turn off your computer
This should be a given already, but even if you are away from the computer for one hour and turn it off during that time, the amount of power you save is relevant to the amount of power used to keep a 14 watt compact fluorescent lamp on for 24 hours. So keep this in mind whenever you feel too lazy to re-boot your computer a few times a day.
7. Wash your clothes in cold water
When washing your clothes in your washing machine try to only use cold water instead of hot water, as your machine will use much more energy just to heat up the water during the cleaning process.
8. Keep your refrigerator between 36 to 42° F and the freezer at 0° F
These temperatures are effective in ensuring food safety, and lowering the temperatures even further will only waste power. Also, try not to overcrowd your fridge or freezer (they should be no more than 2/3 full), and make sure the door to your refrigerator/freezer is closed tightly at all times.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching companies offering student loans as well as looking at various computer engineering scholarships. Whenever she gets some free time, she enjoys doing yoga, cooking for fun, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.