I just had a new HVAC system put in a couple months ago and I had been using one of the expensive cleanable/reusable filters. I thought I was saving money and being green, but my HVAC guy recommended the really cheap filters and frequent changes. Those other filters apparently make the system work harder, especially if it isn’t changed frequently and that damages the system. Our programmable thermostat has a 30 day filter reminder (which is 30 days of use, not 30 calendar days).
Even when you think an appliance or device is turned off, the power may still be on if it is plugged in. This is especially true with equipment that has a transformer (that small black cube on the end of the cord). If your outlets aren't easily accessible, plug small appliances, such as your radio, electric razor, battery charger, etc., into a power strip. Then all you have to do is flick a switch when you aren't using them. Of course, if you are dealing with devices that you program, such as VCRs or radios with clocks, unplugging them may require more work than the savings is worth.
The electric power industry is commonly split up into four processes. These are electricity generation such as a power station, electric power transmission, electricity distribution and electricity retailing. In many countries, electric power companies own the whole infrastructure from generating stations to transmission and distribution infrastructure. For this reason, electric power is viewed as a natural monopoly. The industry is generally heavily regulated, often with price controls and is frequently government-owned and operated. However, the modern trend has been growing deregulation in at least the latter two processes.
We ordered blackout blinds from a home improvement store and they seem to have helped. We needed them for a third “bedroom” (what a joke) that is 6 feet wide and maybe 10 feet long; this room currently houses 2 laptops and my heat-generating desktop computer. We tried to install a very small ceiling fan in that room, but quickly discovered that the ceiling supports were not designed to hold the weight of a fan. So, the blackout blinds (and keeping my computer off when not in use) seem to help. That room has gotten to 83 degrees in the summer before we put in the blinds.
To save money by making sure you’re only paying for the sewer capacity you’re using, many utilities offer the option to get a separate meter to measure water usage for irrigation, swimming pools and other outdoor uses, says Liskey. Once installed, the meter will be read every month by your utility company and its reading subtracted from your sewage bill.
We kept it at 78 degrees in the summer growing up. In our house with high ceilings and huge windows we’ve done 77 this summer (sometimes 75 at night when we are upstairs). But I was shocked when a friend polled others to see what they kept their A/C’s set and the median seemed to be 74 degrees. I say if you want to appreciate a house cooled to 78 degrees, head outside a bit, then come in and it will feel fantastic!
Lower your cost per kilowatt hour. In many states, you can choose a company, called an energy supplier, instead of your utility to supply your power. Just like how you can choose your own cell phone company. Your bills would still come from your utility since the utility owns the power lines to your house, but the actual cost for your power is under your control. There are comparison websites where you can see several options for lower electricity rates per kilowatt hour with multiple energy suppliers and sign up within minutes. Be sure to read the fine print as some contracts have hidden fees or have a rate spike after the end of the contract term. You can research on your utility's website and the internet to find reputable companies to choose from.
One option is to look out for fixed and variable rate plans. Most plans are offered in variable rates, but some providers offer a fixed rate over a set period of time. It’s impossible to say how variable rates may rise and fall, but if you look at energy rates over time, you may feel that a fixed rate plan will offer cheaper electricity in the long run.
An inexpensive white, elastomeric coating will do the job and can be found at most hardware stores in states in the southern half of the U.S. Elastomeric coating is a blend of polymers that is durable, flexible and waterproof, and offers the fringe benefit of helping to increase your roof’s life span and water resistance. All you’ll need to apply it is heavy-duty paint rollers on an inexpensive old paint roller frame, with an extension pole attached to save wear and tear on your back.
Install ceiling fans. Yes, lowering your temperature in the winter and increasing it in the summer helps reduce your energy use via temperature change. However, ceiling fans can help distribute the air that may have risen to the ceilings of your home. The popular belief is that fans actually make the home cooler. However, fans simply help move the hot or cold air towards you.
If you live in a 2,500 square foot single-family home, there are far more factors that go into your electric bill. For starters, you have more space, which comes with added lighting, heating and cooling. It’s likely that you also have more appliances and odds are you use all of them more often. In a single day, you could end up spending double or triple the amount of energy than the average renter of a one-bedroom apartment.
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