Times are getting harder and money is getting tighter. Every family is trying to figure out how to cut back and how to save money. With winter around the corner, the addition of a gas bill for some is going to hurt the pocket book. There are ways to cut back those utilities.
The U.S. Department of Energy states that appliances still draw energy even though they are switched off. We all heard the term electricity vampires, well these electricity Vampires are: Kitchen appliances, Stereos, and televisions. It also states that 75 % of homes usage of power is consumed when appliances are turned off.
Electric: Change your standard light bulbs to the new energy efficient spiral ones. Use LED night lights at night instead of the bulb night lights. Start by unplugging appliances not in use such as microwave, toaster, and coffee machine. Power strip is a good idea you can simply turn it off cutting power to those appliances not in use all together. Below are some common house hold appliances,the energy and cost they use, if left on 100% of the time. Also, when not in a room turn them lights off. More appliances can be found at: http://www.psnh.com/Residential/ReduceBill/Applianceusage.asp
Ceiling fan w/o lights: $1.31
Ceiling fan w lights :$5.98 (using 3-60 watt standard bulbs)
microwave 1500 watt : $2.19
Toaster Oven; $1.46
Television 27 inch: $2.19
Cable Converter box: $3.64
With winter coming, many of us will have a high gas bill heating our homes. Identify your drafty areas, on a windy day, using a lit incense stick slowly move it around windows, outlets, and doors. Once you located your leaks fix them.
1. Windows: Shrink fitting window plastic. Seal up all windows, to keep cold air out and warm air in.
2. Outside: Remove old deteriorating caulking around windows and doors and replace with new caulk. For cement, fill in with masonry sealer. If you have storm window, put them up. Replace any foam stripping around windows that is corroded.
3. Outlet: Outlet gaskets, these gaskets go behind your outlet cover eliminating drafts. These are for the plugs and switches.
4. Doors: Sliding patio doors: Seal up with shrink window plastic. Using these doors allows more cold air to enter your home during winter then the standard door. Regular doors, when closed place a rolled up long rolled up towel to eliminate drafts. Inspect the foam around the door Jamb. Replace if necessary.
5. Temperature: Keeping your thermostat at a lower temperature will help cut that gas bill. Turn it down, dress a little warmer. We keep our home at 68, during the day, and before bed we turn it 65. Any higher for us, is uncomfortable.
6. Furnace: Before winter make sure your furnace is working properly with no leaks that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. In your mail, you can find coupons for tune ups from your local heating and cooling places. Make sure your filter is clean and not dirty.
7. Alarm devices: Check those batteries in the fire detector and CO2 detector
8. Ceiling fans: Switch on to reverse, this allows the ceiling fan to push the warm air down and circulate more.
These are some things we do to keep our utilities down. Also at night, if we are just watching a television show, or movie, we do not keep lights on. Each room has its own LED night light which gives us plenty of light to walk around. On average in the summer using our window air unit, our electric bill was $40.00 at the highest. In the winter months, using all the tips above our highest gas bill was $65.00. Another tip for the summer months, when not using the gas to heat our home, we had a $17.00 gas bill, just for the pilot running. Shut off your pilot light to your furnace. If you do not know how, ask a neighbor or someone at the hardware store. This may eliminate that extra cost in the summer. When not in use, turn it off. Below I listed more sites with tips to keep your bills down.
Energy : http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/home_office.html, http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/appliances/index.cfm/mytopic=10040