These days, it seems like everything is going up except your salary. With food, gas prices, and monthly bills at home all increasing, it becomes a struggle keeping your head above water. Saving electricity can make a huge difference in your monthly expenses, especially this time of year, when your family’s air conditioner is running all day. Read on for 3 ways to save electricity, and moolah, this summer.
1. Weather Stripping for Doors
You probably remind the kids to shut the doors after they enter and leave the house, but forgetful kids aren’t the only way that the cool air you pay so much for escapes through your home’s outside doors. Weather stripping that is old, damaged or missing lets out the air-conditioned coolness and can cause your electric bill to grow.
To stop the leaks and save on electricity, feel around all of your outside doors for warm drafts and inspect the weather stripping for damage. If you find any drafts or damage, replace the weather stripping. This is a low-cost repair that can save you big bucks on your electric bill this summer, as well as your heating bill this winter.
2. How to Check and Seal a Window
Leaky windows also allow cool air to escape from your home, causing your air conditioner to work more than it should have to. Because the spaces around your home’s windows add up to a greater area than the spaces around the doors, leaky windows can really rack up costs on your electric bill.
As you did with your doors, check around each window in your home for a warm draft. Slowly move your hand around the outline of the window, so that you can feel any warm air coming in. If you feel a draft, repair the seal on the window.
3. How to Stop “Energy Vampires”
You probably think that the only electricity wasters in your home are the computers, TVs and lights that the kids forgot to turn off when they were finished with them. Unfortunately, energy waste can be much sneakier. There are probably many devices in your home that are wasting electricity without you knowing it. These devices are sometimes called “energy vampires,” because they drain electricity as they supercharge your electric bill. Unplugging these devices when they’re not in use will really help you save electricity.
One important energy waster in many homes is the laptop computer. If you leave your laptop plugged in when you’re not using it, it is constantly charging its battery. Because laptop batteries are designed to hold a long charge, even one laptop left plugged in all the time will make a noticeable dent in your electric bill. Consider keeping it plugged in only when you are actually using it. Your budget will thank you!
Other “energy vampires” include:
- Anything with a digital clock in it, such as microwave ovens and some coffee makers.
- Rechargeable vacuums or hand-held sweepers.
- DVRs and cable boxes.
- Certain Blu-Ray players that stay ready to start quickly, even when turned off. Check your player’s manual for energy-efficient settings.
- Digital picture frames.
- Electronic device chargers left plugged in while the device is not being charged.
- Devices you always leave on, such as printers, even in” sleep mode.”
And Don’t Forget…
While it’s an even bigger energy waster in the wintertime, your roof can also cost you extra energy during the summer. Keep your roof moss-free and in good condition to avoid energy waste and damaging water leaks.
Also, switching from incandescent light bulbs to the more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will save you money on your electric bill. If you haven’t already made the switch, now’s the time!
Photo courtesy of Midnightcomm