I’m all about living the frugal lifestyle, as you all know, so as the cooler weather has settled in, I’ve been wondering what I can do this fall to try and reduce our electricity bill. Here are some tips I found that I think you could use too … and guess what—they’re really easy!
1. Reduce Energy Caused by Water Heaters
Heating water takes a lot of energy so there are some things you can do to reduce how much energy your water heater consumes.
- Put a water heater blanket around your water heater if you have an older water heater. It will help keep the heat in, so your water heater isn’t using energy to keep the water hot. Also consider insulating the first six feet of piping that comes off your heater.
- Reduce the temperature of the water heater to around 130 to 140 degrees. Not only will you not worry about being scalded (or scalding your children) with hot water, but it will save a bundle.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. Where possible, wash your clothes in cold water instead of warm. This will help preserve the color of clothes and for everyday laundry, it works great to get your clothes clean.
- Use clothes washer and dishwasher when they’re full. This will reduce the amount of electricity and water used.
2. Use Power Strip with Your TV Electronics
Did you know that power is being consumed even when your electronics are off? And think about how many things are plugged-in in your living room: TV, stereo/speakers, gaming systems (sometimes 2 or three), DVD/Blu-ray players, and who knows what else. So how do you follow the recommendation of unplugging things? It’s so unpractical to unplug everything when you’re not using them. The solution? Power strips. These handy devices come with an on/off switch, so when you’re not actually using the TV, DVD player, etc., you can just hit the off button and no power is being used. There are even power strips that are set to turn on and off by sensing when electronics are turned on.
3. Replace the Filter in Your Furnace
Every month, change the filter used for your furnace—either during warm months or every month if the same filter is used for air conditioning. This will not only save you up to $60 a year, it will also prolong the life of the furnace, which will save money in repairs and replacements. Can’t remember when you need to replace the filter? Some tips for remembering include doing it the first day of every month, adding a reminder on your phone, and labeling each filter with the name of the month, so you know whether you need to change it.
4. Pile on the Clothes
It’s easy to turn up the heat in fall to compensate for the cold weather—especially when you’re used to 90+ degree weather. Instead, pile on the clothes. When you watch TV, have a blanket nearby to cuddle under. Set the thermostat lower at night. Where warmer clothes like sweaters or jackets indoors so that you can keep the temperature lower. By keeping the temperatures lower, you’ll be able to save money on not heating the house and your body will acclimate to the cooler temperatures. I would recommend 68 to 70 during the day and cooler at night when you’re bundled in bed.
5. Seal Up Any Cracks
Fall is the best time of year to get ready for winter by sealing any cracks and leaks in your house that might be letting heat out and cold in. You can use caulk and weather-stripping to seal these leaks and save you money. This could be around doorways and windows—especially if you have an older home. Other areas to consider include vents (including for the dryer vent), air conditioners, outdoor faucets, mail chutes, and cable TV and phone lines.
What are you doing this fall to help reduce your electricity bills? Share your tips on how you’re saving money on your electricity bill.
Great product known as SafePlug! I believe you can order online prevents against shocks, fires, etc., etc. etc.
These are great ideas, but you should NEVER under any circumstances EVER use a power strip! They are extreme fire hazards and very unsafe to have in the home. This is basic fire safety people!
I never thought about putting a power strip on my television! Great ideas here.
Visiting from Frugal Friday Linky Party.
Shaylee Ann says
Why have I never thought about using a power strip for the TV? We have one for the computers, but now I need to grab another one to keep saving. Thank you!
Found you via the Frugal Friday link party!
I unplug the fridge at night in winter for six hours with a timer.I use fans in summer instead of aircondition and eat popcicles -it can get really hot here in Israel for many months – put my feet in cold water and have a wet towel around my neck on the really hot days.In winter I use layers of clothes by day and extra blankets at night and try to keep warm moving instead of sitting too long.The water for shower gets heated by sun collector and only when it is not enough for everyone having his shower I turn on the boiler to heat water with elecricity.I do dishes with cold water on the sun-less days.We bake bread at the coldest time of day and stay in the kitchen at that time.We also bake a lot at once and freeze it and do several dishes at once in the oven since we have a big one anyway.At night everything gets unplugged.Heaters are seldom used on winter nights and the kids sleep with a warm water bottle or heated rice bag like my grandparents did.
In our family that even helps save on the doctors bill because we don`t get sick easily anymore-no running noses and colds because our rooms are never overheated,the immune system is strong and getting trenched on a rainy day does no harm anymore.We have lots of tea in winter and exercise in fresh air.I grew up in a family where we made a walk of half an hour every day in the afternoon,if rain or snow , sunshine or frost.I never needed a doctor.
Saving is helpful in more than one way.Keep it up with the good posts Karrie!
Some gas/electric companies will visit your home free of charge for a basic home energy audit. I was blown away to find out how much electricity the vortex heaters used up….instead switched to electric blankets….okay….it’s cold here sometimes in Colorado!!! 🙂 You can also pay energy consultants for a more in depth energy assessment….think heat detecting guns aimed at your doors and windows and attic insulation measurements!!!
We dropped our bill by almost $40 a month this whole year by unplugging the microwave, coffeemaker, dvd, and gaming system along with a few other things. Think about your phone charger… it takes power too when it is not charging your phone. We have blankets on the couch for cuddling and to keep the heater down. We cooked on the grill in the summer to keep the heat down and use the oven in the winter to help heat the house. We dont exclude them, we arent that cheap, but it is our first choice.When no one is going to be home for the day we turn the heater way down.. yes the house is cold when we get back but it really cuts costs which we really needed to do this past year.
So very true MD!! I should use my grill more in the summer and oven in winter.
my husband installed a hot water recirculating pump on the house. You install it at the farthest point away from your water heater – keeps you from running your water for 2 minutes to get it warm! There is also a timer on it so we have it on in the morning when showers and dishes are mostly being done.