Save Money, Save Energy
In addition to powering their lights and appliances, a large number of Americans turn to electricity to supply their heat in the winter. This can add up to a rather hefty electric bill during the coldest months, but there are some small measures you can take to reduce your electric use:
Switch your light bulb type.
Traditional fluorescent light bulbs only last about 1,200 hours, while more energy-efficient light bulbs last anywhere from 2,500 hours (halogen light bulbs) to 10,000 hours (CFL light bulbs) to 40,000 hours (LED light bulbs). They cost a little more up front, but you’ll have to replace them less and you’ll save energy.
If you’re not using something that requires electricity, unplug it; even if the item is turned off, it can still draw power when it’s plugged in. These items include appliances like coffee makers, blenders, toaster ovens, etc. and electronics like televisions, phone chargers, game systems, etc.
Upgrade your windows.
Windows that are old can be drafty, which means they’ll let in cold air when your heater is trying to warm your home. This means your heater will work harder, using more electricity. If there’s no way to repair your windows, replace them with energy-efficient models. These are built to reflect heat and will keep your home nice and toasty.
Get a programmable thermostat.
Instead of keeping your home at the same temperature all day, invest in a programmable thermostat. You’ll be able to set your temperature to a lower one while no one is home and raise it again when you get back. This way, you’ll only use the electricity when you need it.
Turn the oven off early.
When you have an electric oven, it will stay hot for about 10-15 minutes after you turn it off. This means that when baking something, you can turn the oven off about 10-15 minutes before your food is done and it will continue to cook until it’s finished. This is an easy way to save electricity.
Use your fans.
You may think of using ceiling fans during the summer to stay cool, but you can also use them in the winter to stay warm. When turned to the clockwise setting, they’ll push warm air (which collects near the ceiling) downward and make the room seem warmer. This means you won’t have to use your heater as much.
Fill your fridge and freezer.
When it comes to your refrigerator and freezer, both operate more efficiently when they’re full, so make a point to stock them on a regular basis (especially the freezer since you won’t have to worry much about food spoiling). Your appliances will use less electricity, which will reflect in your monthly bill.