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.