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Was all this pretty expensive? Sure. But the roofs and appliances were time bombs, so as to speak. And I'm saving about $2000 every year. That goes a long way!
Checklist on Saving Electricity
Here's some ideas on cutting your electric bill, resulting in 100's of dollars a year in savings. Some are quick, easy and cheap fixes, some are more expensive investments which pay off in future savings.
Light bulbs: Start using the newer fluorescent bulbs now. There's several strengths, colors, and types of lights available. Replace the most often used ones immediately; you could use the ones you remove in rarely-used lights (if, like me, it hurts to discard them). When you run out of standard bulbs, switch to all-fluorescent.
Night lights: Look into replacing those using filament bulbs with LED type lights. They are safer, too.
Outdoor lights: Many outdoor lights can be replaced with energy-saving motion detector lights with a solar sensor to keep them from coming on during the day. Porch lights and those under shelter can be replaced with fluorescent bulbs. For the future, look into solar-powered lights for the yard. The prices are falling, and they really add something to your yard.
Swimming pool: This can be a major energy user. Reducing the run-time of a one-horsepower pool pump from eight hours per day to six hours can save you as much as $10 a month. Wintertime no more than four hours is the recommended time. For heating, look into solar heating or a more efficient heater. Use of a pool blanket to conserve heat can save bundles.
Central Air: Set your thermostat a little warmer, and the savings mount up. A programmable thermostat is a valuable investment, as you can set it for use only during hours that the home is occupied. Change the filter monthly! Be sure the outside unit isn't exposed to sunlight; provide shade! Be sure the insulation around the conduits is completely covering them and that there are no leaks. This is extremely important, not only to save power, but to cool more efficiently, and prevent mold and other problems. Many electric companies can inform you as to rebates and discounts for newer, more efficient units, or added insulation.
Ceiling Fans: If you don't have them, consider installing them. You can keep the air conditioner set higher in hot weather, with the same comfort level. Keep the blades clean; dust them a couple times a month. A blade heavy with dust and other debris takes more power to operate. Turn them off when leaving the room, it saves even more electric use.
Room Air Conditioners: Keep the filters clean! also wipe clean the vents and grilles. Plant shrubs or vines to shade any units that are exposed to sunshine. Have units removed and washed out whenever the inside fins become clogged. Use the power saver feature whenever possible; this can save a considerable amount over time. If anyone tends to forget to turn them off when not in use, consider using an appliance-grade timer at the outlet, to turn them off and on at certain hours.
Water Heaters: Change your water temperature to a safe, lower setting. 120░ F. is a thrifty level. Neither clothing you wash nor the dishwasher really needs a hotter setting. Use water-conserving showerheads and faucet aerators throughout the house. Don't run hot water needlessly, for instance, while washing or rinsing dishes. Use a dishwasher rather than washing by hand; it uses less hot water by far. Repair leaky hot water faucets immediately. Wrap your tank-type heater in an insulating blanket to conserve the heat. Insulate every bit of exposed hot water pipes, whether CPVC, copper or galvanized. It's a cheap fix with tubing insulation and can save a lot of energy. ...More >>>
The Sneaky Kitchen
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