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In modern households we use plenty of electricity to power lighting, appliances, and heating and cooling systems in our homes. While installing solar panels on your home or business is the biggest change you can make to reduce or eliminate your electric bill, converting to solar electricity is not the only way to save. There are a variety of simple ways to take action to start saving energy and reduce your electric bill at home. Making these changes can be as simple as replacing a light bulb, changing the temperature of your rinse cycle, or switching the direction your ceiling fan rotates. Read on and you will learn what to do and why these changes help your home run more efficiently.
Switch out standard light bulbs for Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs are different and more energy-efficient than standard incandescent light bulbs and therefore will cost your less money than their light bulb predecessors. This is why. CFLs move an electrical current through a tube that contains argon, some mercury vapor, and a fluorescent coating on the inside of the tube, whereas incandescent bulbs run a current through a wire filament that heats until it glows. The current moving through a CFL produces a UV light that causes the fluorescent coating to beam visible light. These light bulbs use approximately 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. It is important that the proper CFL bulb is used for the fixture. Not only do CFL’s use less energy but, they last 10 times as long (1000 hours for and incandescent bulb compared to 10,000 hours for a CFL bulb) AND they are recyclable, woooo hooo! You can purchase CFLs marked Energy Star specific to your fixture at your local hardware store and find the nearest recycle location to you at Earth911.
Many people lose money inadvertently by accidentally leaving lights on when not needed. Motion sensor lights, as implied by the name, sense motion and are a great way to reduce electric bills if this is a problem in your household. The light turns on when it detects the presence of moving objects in the area surrounding the light. This saves electricity because the light only turns on when the presence is detected and turns off automatically after a certain amount of time, presumably after the person has left the room or surrounding area. Not only are they great outdoors, they’re good for indoors too. Have you ever fallen asleep with the lights on? Well, you’re not alone. Outdoors, motion light sensors are used for security. Light sensors are not only sensitive motion, but also to outdoor conditions such as daylight and temperature. You can purchase your motion sensor light for indoor or outdoor areas at your local Home Depot today. Don’t forget to use outdoor CFLs as well. (They last 10 times longer than standard bulbs!)
Using energy efficient appliances is a great way to reduce your electric bill. But don’t worry you don’t have to replace what you have to save energy. You can start by optimizing the settings on your current appliances. Temperature settings in household appliances should be changed from season to season. During the winter, for example, temperature settings often need to be lowered. Your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The refrigerator should be set between 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If applicable, turn the energy-saver switch on in your refrigerator during the summer and off during the winter. Vacuuming or dusting the coils in the back of the refrigerator may also increase efficiency and thus cut energy consumption. One of my favorite tips to save electricity is to turn the oven off a few minutes before the food is ready. The heat remaining in the oven will finish warming the food. Further, when rewarming food its more energy efficient to use the microwave because it uses a third to half as much energy as a conventional stove. Kitchen appliances are not the only appliances that use a lot of electricity; washers and dryers do too. Washing machines use most of the energy they consume to heat the water. To reduce your electric bill when washing cloths use warm wash and cold rinse settings as opposed to hot wash and warm rinse to save energy. Your clothes will still be clean by the end of the cycle, regardless of the water temperature. It is also important to clean the lint screen in the dryer because the buildup of lint reduces dryer efficiency. For more information on how to save energy regarding appliances visit Eartheasy. Energy-efficient appliances are available at Lowe’s.
Just as freezer and refrigerator settings can be adjusted seasonally, ceiling fan settings can help cut electricity costs as well. During the summer, ceiling fans should be set to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction and in a clockwise direction during the winter. Usually this is done by flipping a switch next to the on/off mechanism. Additionally, installing a ceiling fan in the largest room of the house can lower the temperature of the AC by 3 to 6 degrees, which saves energy (and money)! It is imperative to clean or change AC air filters or screens at least once a month to increase AC performance and reduce fan usage to help save electricity. The same applies to heating systems. Moving our efforts outdoors, our sun is a great natural resource for heating your home, but you don’t want your home to get overheated. To avoid this planting trees is a great way to cool the home with shade and help the environment simultaneously. Weather stripping your home can also cut electricity costs by preventing the entrance of extra heat reduces the overall usage of the ceiling fan and AC.
These are just a few methods to save electricity and reduce your electric bill. Combining these energy efficiency tips along with the installation of solar panels could not only reduce your energy bill, but give you an electric bill of $0. For more information about the solar installation process, contact us with y0ur questions or simply request a free energy evaluation.
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