Five ways to save on electricity

Do you get the shakes every time you see that electric bill in your mailbox? Do you cringe when you open it? Especially during the summer, electric bills can become quite a burden – especially for families who love air conditioning, refrigeration, late-night television… need we go on? Ready to downsize that bill? Here are a few simple tricks that save you a few bucks this month:

1. Seal the deal.

Some of that money you’re pouring into your bill could be pouring out of your unsealed home. You can help reduce energy costs by making sure that your home is fully sealed. This means caulking and weather-stripping your home. This simple task can help reduce your bill as much as 25 percent!

2. Bake at night!

You may not want to do anything but veg in front of the TV once the sun goes down, but using heat-generating appliances at night when the air is cooler will give your air conditioner a break from working overtime. Clothes dryers, dishwashers, and ovens can all raise room temperatures, which then trigger the air conditioner to work harder. Use these at night and the cooler air can help you reduce your bill.

3. Get a crock.

We told you those ovens heat up a room and put you’re A/C into overdrive, but they also suck up a lot of juice. Slow cookers, on the other hand, use much less energy and emit less heat, making them a perfect option for preparing hot meals without using up tons of energy.

4. Pull out the clothes line.

Take advantage of that hot, dry summer air and air-dry your clothes. Not only will they dry quickly in the heat, but you’ll also save the energy you were spending running your dryer (and heating up your house).

5. Condition people, not houses!

Why pay for cool air when no one is home? If you have a programmable thermostat, set it! Raise the temperature on your thermostat when the family is out of the house, and turn the temperature back down when everyone gets home. This can save a lot of dough in a month’s time.

How do you beat the bills? Give us your best tips.

Easy ways to save on your electricity

You heard it here first; saving energy is a win-win situation.

Okay, so you may not have heard it here first, but we whole-heartedly agree that using electricity more efficiently and responsibly benefits everyone — especially this Earth of ours. But you’ll likely get a nice kick-back when you open that bill each month too. Follow our top tips for reducing your energy expenditure and you’ll soon have the satisfaction of saving a few bucks and doing a solid for the environment:

Replace your light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs: Those old bulbs you picked up at the grocery store may be cheap, but they’re sucking up energy like a vacuum sucks dirt. Not only do these bulbs last about ten times longer, but you’ll save more than $100 over the course of a year by replacing just your four most-used 100-watt bulbs with 23-watt CFLs.

Clean your filters: Winding down from a hot summer and feeling the strain on your pocketbook from all that air conditioning? Did you know that having your air conditioning filters cleaned regularly (once a month) can save you a few bucks when cooling or heating your home? Dirty filters block airflow and make you pay for more cool air than you’re actually using. That’s what we call inefficient.

Put on a jacket: Install a cheap insulating jacket onto your water heater (they run about $10 – $15) and lower the water heater temp. A 120-degree setting will still give you a nice hot shower without costing you an arm and a leg. Go one further and insulate your pipes as well to create even greater efficiency.

Plant trees: Did you know that bordering your property in trees and other shrubbery can actually save you money on your electric bill? Trees block chilly wind as well as provide natural shade — this can help you save money on both your heating and cooling bills. Not to mention you’ll please Mother Earth.

Got any other great tips? Let us know!