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cut energy bills

How to Cut Your Energy Bills ~AND~ Conserve Gas and Electricity

In General

To save on electricity, let your dishwasher air dry. Open the door all the way or prop it open part way.

Turn off the light when you leave the room. Look around some evening when the whole family is together in one room and see if there might be six extra lights on.

Unplug appliances you don't use all the time -- like a portable heater, toaster, or any that have an "on" light.

Get the whole family to do homework, reading, bills, etc., in the same room together so you only have to light one room.

Insulate. You can add insulation in your attic, under the house, and around windows and doors. You can even buy foam insulation for around your wall outlets.

Using appliances during non-peak hours whenever possible will help prevent black-outs for everyone.

Make a double or triple batch when cooking dinner and put the second one in the freezer for another day. Keeping the freezer full helps it run more efficiently also - as long as you leave some room for circulation.

Turn off the heater pilot light in the warmer months. (Don't just blow out the flame, the gas source must also be turned off, or the button must be set in the off position to keep gas from escaping.) The Gas Company will come out and relight it for free if you don't know how.

New appliances are so much more efficient, you can buy a new refrigerator (or washer, etc.) and pay the monthly payment with what you save on your utility bill.

Run your pool or jacuzzi filter in the evening on hot days while using the air conditioner, and in the daytime in the winter while using the heater.

Roof turbines can be covered in the winter to keep hot air from escaping. Be sure to uncover again in the summer to let heat escape from the attic.

When several family members all need showers, have them shower right after each other while the water in the pipes is already warmed up.

Mom and young daughter, or father and young son, can shower together.

Use paper plates, bowls and cups, and disposable aluminum cooking trays to cut down on washing dishes. Be sure to give them to the recycler.

Drink bottled drinks with a straw to eliminate the need for a glass.

Turn off lights when watching television, you end up with less glare and save on your electric bill.

Have a few candlelight dinners. Increase the romance and decrease the electric bill.

Don't let the bathroom fan run for 10 or 15 minutes, just light a match. Bathroom odor is gone almost instantly.

Clean the lint trap in your dryer after every use, and remove any lint that is caught in the back of the door. Your clothes will not only dry faster, but your machine will last years longer and will be cheaper to run.

save on cooling bills

On Cooling

When using a fan to cool your home, don't try to blow the hot air out. Putting the fan in front of an open window, facing the inside of the room, will cool the room quicker even if the air outside is hot.

Teach your kids to close the door when they go in and out of the house to keep cool air in and summer heat out.

Close the drapes on a hot day to keep heat out.

Do your ironing very early or very late on warm days.

Be sure that your dryer vents to the outdoors in summer to keep your house cool.

Take a cooler shower on very hot days. If you make the shower too cold, you will feel extra hot when you go back into the hot air.

Open two or more windows to create a cool breeze through the house instead of using the air conditioner. Fresh air is also good for you.

Don't wear slippers or get some thin ones just for warm days. Wearing slippers or socks keeps in body heat.

Cool yourself down quickly by applying ice or a cold washcloth to the back of the neck and the front of both wrists.

Don't cook so much on summer nights. Make a big salad or sandwiches instead.

Cook dinners outside on a barbecue, and you won't heat your house.

When barbecuing steaks or burgers, cook some chicken at the same time. This can be refrigerated or frozen for later use in a salad for dinner.

save on heating bills

On Heating

Heat leaves your body through your head and feet. The easiest way to save gas and cut down on heating bills is to wear warm slippers. If you're still not warm enough, put on a sweater. For really cold days, put on a knit cap. Heat escapes through the feet and head, so covering these will keep heat in.

Dress for winter in your home, not just outdoors.

Put a blanket over you when you're sitting still watching television, writing letters, etc.

Install an automatic thermostat for your heater. Set it to come on shortly before rising in the morning to take off the chill, and set it to go off an hour later. By that time, you have all gone to work or school, or you are moving around enough that you've warmed up. The heater can also be set to go off when you go to bed or shortly afterward.

Use your fireplace to heat your home whenever possible, and close the flue in between fires to keep cold air out.

Turn the heat off at night and use blankets to keep warm.

For kids that kick off their blankets, buy them blanket sleepers to stay warm at night. Sleepers with feet keep in extra warmth.

Comforters keep in more heat than blankets.

Spouses can cuddle to share body warmth.

Hot coffee, tea or chocolate will warm up the whole body.

After using the dishwasher, open the door so the heat helps warm the kitchen.

Open the bed at least 30 minutes before going to bed to take the chill off the sheets.

After using the oven, leave the door ajar so the heat can warm the room.

Heat rises. Using a ceiling fan in a two-story house can help keep the downstairs warmer and keep the upstairs from feeling like an oven.

The Gas Company will check your gas appliances for free. They can turn down the pilot lights if necessary and make any other adjustments for more efficient heating or cooking.

Clean or replace your filters when the weather gets cold. A dirty filter will make the heater work much harder, and it could even be a fire hazard.

Let your electric dryer vent indoors in winter to help warm your house, just be sure to seal the hole to the outside so heat doesn't escape.

Keep the doors shut to rooms you don't use, like a guestroom. To keep from wasting heat in extra rooms with centralized heating, close the heater vent near the ceiling. It can easily be opened again later.

Do your baking early on cold days to help warm your house.

Open your drapes in the morning to let the sun warm the house, and close them after running the heater to keep warmth in.

"Were you born in a barn?" Teach your kids not to leave the door open when they go in and out of the house. It doesn't take long for the heat to escape and the chill to come in.

To keep warm on the coldest nights, sleep with socks on.

Get up and move around. Activity warms you up.

money-saving light bulb

Special Light Bulbs

The new fluorescent light bulbs put out the same amount of light with 72% less electricity. One plus is that they emit a more natural light so your home and everything in it will look better - even you. The other benefit is that they last six to ten times longer than regular light bulbs.

money-saving light bulb
And the Blues Buster Full Spectrum Compact Fluorescents Light Bulbs not only last longer and save on electricity costs, they can prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD), increase awareness and productivity, help with sleep disorders, increase scholastic performance, and even help plants grow better.

Lights Out

Remembering to turn off lights when you (or your kids) leave the room is hard to do. For hallways, basements, attics, garages, closets, and rooms you seldom use, you can add a light sensor socket between the socket and the light bulb. It is a motion sensor, so the light goes off automatically four minutes after you leave the area. As a bonus, you can walk into the room with your hands full, and the light will turn itself on.
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