Weather everywhere is a little crazy right now. If you live somewhere with the drastic bouts of heat waves, like I do, then you’re probably spending most of your time inside (or maybe in the pool) and cranking up on the AC to keep your family (and possibly pets) cool. We all know that this is going to cost us some extra money next month on our electric bill. So, do we keep cool and risk a higher than normal electric bill, or do we conserve energy – and money? Well, we can really do both!
Here are some tips from SCE on how to reduce your electricity usage – without purchasing expensive insulation kits, new appliances, or solar panels (although, those are probably a pretty good idea, too…if you can afford it). It’s a little more work, but I’ve definitely implemented these ideas into my house!
- Turn off lights when not needed
- Turn off all computers when not in use and at night
- Unplug electronics when not in use
- Power cords / extension cords
- Computer power cords – when not charging the computers
- The fan – especially at night when you go to bed
- Cell phone chargers – remember to unplug your cell phone charger when you unplug your cell phone in the mornings
- Anything that is plugged in but is not ‘doing’ anything is still using electricity
- Adjust the display on your television
- Adjustyour thermostat a few degrees
- Set it no lower than 78 degrees while you’re home
- Set it 10 degrees higher when you aren’t home, but will be back that night
- Turn it off when you go out of town
- If you have to have it on at night, set it 4 degrees higher (82 degrees, at least)
- Power down your cable box, TV, and surround sound system at night when you go to bed
- Shave a minute off shower time – this could result in a 13% decrease in shower water use, which reduces money you spend on water heating as well – maybe get a timer for the shower for the girls
- Set your refrigerator’s temp to 35 degrees
- Close your shades in the summer
- Use your dishwasher – scrape off plates / bowls throughout the day and put them in the dishwasher and run it one time at night – after 6 pm. Use the air-dry function and not the heat-dry. This will save money on water (because it uses less water), save money on energy (only heating a small amount of water once instead of a lot of water throughout the day), and will save time with doing dishes. This could save you 15-50% on energy use because the hot water is heated using electricity!!!
- Clean your refrigerator coils – you should be able to pull the bottom of the fridge off (somehow) and vacuum out the bottom – this will help the fridge run better and save energy. This should be done about every 6 months or year. Also, there should be 3 inches or more of space on all sides of the fridge, if possible, but especially in the back. This will allow heat to escape easily and increase its efficiency.
Do you have any other ideas / suggestions for reducing electricity usage in your home?