Electricity is expensive. If you pay your own utility bills I’m sure you feel my pain. Every time I do a load of laundry or turn on my computer I cringe a little bit, knowing that my electric bill is creeping skyward. Thankfully, it is possible to weaken the blow at the meter every month. When it comes to saving on your power bill, every little thing adds up. Here’s a room-by-room list of ideas to save on electricity.
If you’re not watching TV or using your DVD player, unplug ‘em! Even though they’re not on, these electronics are drawing electricity. The kilowatt-hours really add up.
Making homemade tomato sauce or your grandmother’s secret recipe chicken noodle soup? Use a Crockpot or slow-cooker instead of the stove and a sauce pan. These things often require long simmering times, which means your stove is working overtime. Crockpots are designed for low, slow cooking and simmering and they use a fraction of the electricity of your stove. Also, since slow-cookers are insulated, they’re more efficient at keeping things hot, versus a regular sauce pan that constantly loses heat even when on the burner.
My bedroom needs to be borderline freezing in order for me to get a good night’s sleep. Instead of relying on a bulky air conditioner to cool the room, I use a window fan. Window fans, when used properly, are very effective at cooling off a room. About an hour before you plan to hit the pillow set up your fan in the window and turn it on low. Open a second window in the room and your door to allow air to freely circulate through the space. It’s best if you open a window opposite the fan, but any window will do. Let the window fan work its magic. By the time you’re ready to count sheep your room will be filled with fresh, cool air without the lofty price of running an AC unit. Of course, this method won’t always chill your room to artic tundra-esque temperatures, especially during a midsummer heat wave, but it will help create a much more comfortable sleeping environment at a fraction of the cost.
Always clean out the lint trap in your dryer. Not only does leftover lift pose a safety and fire risk, but it also makes your dryer work harder and use more electricity to dry your clothes. Clean it out before every load and check the venting in the back of the dryer every few months to make sure it’s not clogged. You can put the lint to use and make some lint modeling dough. (Let me know if you try this. I’m very intrigued.)
You can find out exactly how much electricity a particular appliance is using by borrowing a Kill A Watt electricity monitor from your public library. These free monitor rentals are part of Efficiency Maine’s outreach program. For more information visit Efficiency Maine.
How do you keep your electricity usage down?