Wednesday, January 3, 2018

How to Reduce Your Energy Bills

If the mounting concerns surrounding global warming have yet to force you to re-examine your environmental footprint, chances are the increasingly high costs of home energy will.  Utilities bills are no joke.  They can often constitute close to 20% of overall household expenditures.  Monitoring your energy output, and finding ways to cut back, then, can save you a noticeable amount of money.  In a nutshell, it pays to be green.  Here are some tips to help you reduce your energy bills.  

Heating / Air Conditioning

Simply keeping your apartment or condo at a comfortable temperature can be costly, if you are not careful.  In the summer, to avoid high air conditioning expenses, make sure to keep your blinds and curtains closed, and to keep your light and appliance use to a minimum.  Blocking out the sun does wonders to keep your apartment cool.  Also, BBQ or cook outside as much as possible, instead of unnecessarily heating up your entire apartment by turning on the oven.

In the winter, make sure you let the sun in as much as possible, to warm your apartment up.  Also, if you can, install a programmable thermostat.  These allow you to really lower the heat at times when it is not required—like when you are at work, or sleeping at night—and they provide greater control over heating various rooms.  Remember, cranking the thermostat when you are cold does not warm your apartment any faster, and usually ends up overheating your home, which you then have to cool down by opening windows and wasting energy.  With thermostats, slow and steady wins the race.

In both seasons make sure you keep your doors and windows closed—heating or cooling the outdoors is a losing and costly proposition.

Small Measures = Big Savings

There are also several small measures you can take to help lower energy costs.  Simply minimizing the amount of water you run, ensuring all lights, heat, or air is off in rooms you are not using, and air drying both your clothes and your dishes go a long way towards saving you money.  Cooking in larger batches also helps you save energy.  By taking a weekend afternoon to prepare some soups, stews, or roasts, you use the stove and oven less frequently.  This allows you to reheat with a microwave, as the week unfolds, which uses 50% less energy than the oven.  Last, remember to save those more high-energy tasks, like laundry, running the dishwasher, or taking baths, for the “off peak” hours, which are generally on the evenings and weekends.  Doing these more high-energy tasks at off-peak times lets you take advantage of a more economical rate.


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