Saving money is a hobby that can consume you 24 hours a day. And that’s great, because some things are costing you money 24 hours a day. Expenditures like your electricity bills never stop accumulating, so you can always help yourself by finding ways to sneak a few more kilowatt-hours off your bill.
So you have unplugged unneeded devices, insulated your home, and done all the obvious things, but you’re still not satisfied. You want to make a few more adjustments to save money on your electric bill. Start with these ideas that are a little off the beaten path.
The Blind Leading The Bill
We all have those sunny areas of our homes. South-facing windows and doors catch plenty of bright, warming rays from the sun. And a barefoot trip across the floor in those areas should remind you of the impact that has on your electrical usage.
Utilizing Mother Nature’s gifts wisely is one of the best ways to save on heating and cooling, so manage those windows and doors efficiently! Install blinds if you haven’t already, and operate them strategically to maximize the energy benefit in your home. In the winter, open blinds as the late-day sun streams in horizontally. The extra sunlight will add a little warmth to your home. In the summer, it’s the opposite. You’re trying to avoid extra heat, so close the blinds and let the heat stay outside.
Open Door Policy (Or Closed Door Policy)
Speaking of obstructing heat when it’s already hot and inviting it inside during cold times, your garage doors can play a big role in the climate of your house. Many homes now include “bonus rooms” located on top of the garage. These rooms are particularly impacted by temperatures in the garage, but there’s an impact for the whole house whether or not you have this style of home.
Having a hot garage is like placing a heating pad against your house. During hot weather, leave the garage closed–windows and doors alike–if possible. This will help maintain the night’s cool temperatures. If the garage needs to be opened and becomes hot, leave it open until you go to bed so that the evening’s cooling will be shared with the garage. If you close up the garage when it’s 85 degrees outside, the garage will stay closer to that level until well into the night, when it might be in the 50′s outside. Again, reverse the process in the winter, when you can also quickly close the doors after returning home to trap engine heat inside.
For electricity? Really? Absolutely. Utilities were once the quintessential monopoly taught in economics classes, because it was impractical for a dozen different competitors to string electrical lines or water pipes through neighborhoods. States oversaw the providers to make sure consumers weren’t getting ripped off, but there was no choice to it.
Things have changed. The nation’s power grid is like an ocean of electricity. You can put it in from anywhere and it will be available anywhere. Because of this, the market has been deregulated in certain states, like Texas. In those locations, you can basically draw from a wide pool and pay the company with the most competitive rates. You navigate the selection process on http://www.localelectricitycompanies.com and find your best deal. So not only can you find creative ways to use less, you can also find a way to pay less for what you do use.
Water You Washing In Hot?
We like to wash ourselves in hot water, so we feel like our clothes deserve the same relaxing process. But it’s not necessary. Apart from reducing garment shrinkage and keeping your hot water tank stocked up for baths and handwashing, using cold or warm water for laundry can drastically reduce your electrical consumption.
The same goes in the kitchen and even in the shower. Hand-washed dishes come out just as clean in moderate temperatures, and water hot enough to have an impact on bacteria is too hot for your hands anyway. As for bath time, there’s no need to take an ice-cold shower, but you can interrupt water flow briefly as you wash hair or shave legs. A minute or two of this every day will really add up in a year’s time.
Some people imagine super-saving utility scrimpers as eccentric tightwads with an unhealthy obsession. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simple steps like these require little time and can reap real rewards.