Reducing my electric bill
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018
By Gypsy Pines Photography
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Every month the bills come in.  It normally is not a big deal in our house, but for some reason, the electric bill this month was double last months. What?!?!?!

Thought 1: It is winter so it is understandable for there to be more heat used.

Problem: Last month was winter too.

Thought 2: Someone is stealing our electricity!

Problem: We live in the country and it would be more of a pain for someone to run any sort of line than to just use their own.

Thought 3: We must have lights on and the bulbs are burnt so we do not even know and are just wasting energy.

Problem: I just went through and changed all the light bulbs in the house.

So, out came the internet search to find what on earth we need to do to reduce the energy bill.


Recommendation 1: Conduct an Energy Audit

Go through the house and find what you are doing with and using energy for...

  • Dishwasher: how often do you use? are you using heated dry?
  • Fridge and Freezer: are they full? do you put leftovers in while they are still hot? do you have open containers and uncovered food? are the coils dirty?
  • Other Appliances: what is plugged in and not regularly used (dehydrator, blender, food processor, crockpot, vacuum sealer, mixer, panini press, waffle machine, etc)
  • Heating and Cooling: do you use a space heater (how many, what levels are they on, are those rooms in constant and regular use, how long do you leave them on)? How is the temperature regulated for each room (individual thermostats, overall house temperature, space heaters and window A/C units, windows and curtains)?
  • Lighting: what type of lightbulbs do you use? do you leave lights on? do you have constant nightlights or motion sensor lights? do you have lights on outside?
  • Amenity appliances: how many TVs, DVD/VCR players, video game consoles do you have and are plugged in? do you have additional ambiance appliances (wax/candle warmers, decorative lighting, ceiling fans, hair dryers, hair straightener, other hygiene and beauty apparatus)?


Recommendation 2: Make Cost Effective Adjustments

The first thing you can do is make some living condition adjustments without spending money on additional products.

  • Turn off lights in rooms not being used, shut off outdoor lights during the day
  • Use blankets.  if you are not moving around you are going to be colder because your blood is not pumping through your body, so when you are lounging on the couch throw a blanket over yourself.
  • Wear season appropriate clothing.  I am not recommending wearing your winter coat, gloves and hat inside, but throw on a hoodie, pants and slippers in the winter, and shorts and tanks or t-shirts during the summer.
  • Adjust the thermostats for the season.  During the cooler months have the house temperature set between 65 and 70 degrees.  For the warmer months have the temperature set between 75-80, depending on how warm it is outside.  This will have the HVAC working less, and take less energy.
  • Close off areas not in use.  If you are not using the guest room, craft room, man cave, whatever, shut the windows and doors so comfortable air is not being pushed into those rooms.  If each room has an individual thermostat through window units or floor board heating, shut the rooms not in use off.
  • Put away unused appliances and electronics.  If you have everything plugged in, but do not use on a daily basis, unplug it and put it away.  This will give your more counter space, remove clutter, and drop your energy bill. WINNING!!!!!
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate air.  During the warmer months have the ceiling fans on to keep the air circulating and cool.  During the winter, change the rotational direction of the fan by switching the switch on the top of the fan to still circulate air, but not create a cooler atmosphere.
  • Use windows, blinds and curtains. Create a cross breeze to cool the house by open windows on opposite sides (have a screen to prevent bugs).  Close the curtains and blinds to prevent the sun from heating the areas, or the heat escaping through the uninsulated windows.
  • Turn down the temperature on the hot water heater by just 5 degrees.


Recommendation 3: Make your Home Energy Efficient

If you have gone through and made some lifestyle adjustments, but want more, have no fear.  You can invest some time, money, and effort to improve your homes energy consumption.  I highly recommend doing at least one of these actions.  I love using these products and have noticed immediate differences.

  • Install Thermal curtains
  • Use LED light bulbs
  • Use a Heat Surge space heater.  Holy Macaroni is this thing amazing.  Most space heaters are meant for smaller spaces like an office or one room, but this thing heats half our house.  This little monster can heat an 18'x18' space, so we use it for our kitchen, dining and living room area.  When the weather is not below 40 degrees, it can even reach the three bedrooms.  Plus, it is nice to look at, and not hot to the touch at all.  The front has a space where it looks like there is gas fireplace when the heater is turned on, and you can touch the top, front, back and not burn yourself.
  • Install a water-saving shower head

What do you do to keep your energy bill low?  Let me know in the comments what you do or if you implemented any of these recommendations.

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