Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ways to Save Money by Saving Energy

  • The U.S. Department of Energy says consumers spend 6-12% of their income on utilities. For many, winter means higher energy bills. If you find yourself dreading the upcoming cold season and the increased cost of energy try some of these tips and start saving money on your energy bill.
  • Light bulbs- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL's). CFL's last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and can save up to $60 in electricity per light over their lifetime.
  • Unplug- Appliances and electronics that have a clock, operate by remote controls, and chargers are vampires sucking energy even when they are turned off. 40% of energy is consumed from these items when they are turned off. Unplug them when they are not in use, like when you are sleeping, or get a Smart Power Strip.
  • Water Heater- Insulate your water heater if it was built before 2004. Wrap it in a Thermwell blanket and you'll save 10% annually on your water heating bill.
  • Furnace- Service the furnace every 2 years and you'll save 10% on heating bills.
  • Turn Down the Heat- According to the Alliance to Save Energy, every degree you turn down the heat in the winter you take 5% off of your bill. Get an Energy Star programmable thermostat (~$70) and it will save more than twice its price in a year by adjusting the temperature automatically for when you are gone or in bed.
  • Washer/Dryer- Save 50% of the energy you use on heating water by setting your washing machine to cold. Set your dryer to moisture sensor and cut energy use by 15%.
  • Stop Drafts- Don't heat the outside world. Block drafts with weather stripping and save $30 per year.
  • Lower water Temperature- Set water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Before you do this though make sure your dishwasher has a heat boost because the water needs to be 140 degrees to clean properly.
  • Timer Lights- Install timer lights or motion lights for exterior lighting and in rooms you use occasionally.
  • Full Loads- Make sure to fill your washing machine and dishwasher up before you run them. It takes the same amount of energy to run the wash whether it is full or not. Air dry your dishes and clothes too.

Individually these things might not be a lot of savings but if you do them all the savings really can add up. What are some of the ways your family tries to save on energy?

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