Use Fans to Reduce Energy Usage - Great energy savings still may be realized by using fans, either ceiling mounted or whole house models. Fans are much lower impact than air conditioners, and they are very effective in lowering temperatures and maintaining a comfortable living environment. Unlike most air conditioning units, they neither dry nor humidify the ambient environment. They keep the air moving comfortably at the rate required by the current temperatures. Whole House Fans have thermostats, much like central air conditioning units, and they keep the air throughout your home gently stirring and keep the temperatures down with impressive efficiency.
Reduce Energy Usage Around the House- This seems common sensical, but it is often missed: When you are not using a device, turn it off. Turn lights off when you leave a room. Do not leave the television or radio going when you are absent. Turn your computer off overnight. Many modern electronics such as HDTVs, cable boxes, and media players do not actually turn off, but, rather, they go into a "sleep" mode where they are still drawing a stream of electricity. To minimize this put these devices on a power strip with an off switch. After everything is turned off, power off the power strip, cutting off the trickle of needless expense.
Be Energy Smart - By improving the quality of energy use, a great deal more service may be had for less energy and less money. By changing from traditional incandescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL), bulbs, a household can save hundreds of dollars per year in energy bills. If old appliances are still in use, replacing them with newer Energy Smart units can also result in significant annual energy savings.
Try Some Antiquated Technology - By using a swamp cooler in an occupied room rather than central air conditioning throughout your home, huge savings can be realized. The swamp cooler is very effective in smaller areas, especially when used in conjunction with a whole house fan or ceiling fans, and it costs pennies to operate.
Check Insulation - If you live in an older house, the insulation may not be what it should be. The cost of replacing antiquated insulation will be reclaimed in short order with the huge savings that homeowners will get by upgrading to a modern fiberglass insulation product.
Have Cookouts - By taking the cooking tasks to the back yard, energy is saved in a couple of ways. The most obvious of which is that you are not using gas or electricity to power your stove. Secondly, and potentially greater impact, is that by cooking outdoors, you are not heating up your home. As a result your coolers, air conditioners, whole house fans or ceiling fans do not have to compete with the blazing oven and cook top.
Balanced Payment Plans - Offered by many utilities providers, Balanced Payment Plans (BPP) do not reduce the over-all bill, but they do avoid the dramatic billing spikes by calculating the users' annual bills and dividing them equally over the twelve month billing period. In this way, the mild spring and autumn bills will be a bit higher than they would typically be, but the mid-winter and mid-summer bills are brought under control, so there are no surprises in those seasons.
If there is one big secret to reducing energy bills, it is this: Be thoughtful. Consider how you are using energy before you do so. If the dishwasher is not full after lunch, hold onto the load until dinner dishes are ready to go. If you don't have a full load of "hots" for the laundry, hold off washing them for a day or two until you have a full load. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. The little things all add up to really big impact to reduce your energy bill.
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