Electric And Gas Companies Informative - How To Save Hundreds Of Dollars At Home...
This year the average family is expected to shell out $2,350 for electricity and natural gas.
Here are some ways to cut that amount and save:
Save In The Kitchen
Clean the coils behind or underneath the refrigerator every three months to keep it running efficiently. The average refrigerator costs anywhere from $60 to $120 a year to operate depending on the size and model. Cleaning the coils can save you 10 percent of that cost.
Consider energy-efficient appliances -- Energy Star-certified products are guaranteed to be more efficient than older models and some utility companies and local governments offer rebates on such purchases. You may want to rethink the spare refrigerator in the garage or basement, as well. Getting one that is big enough to hold all your food may actually be more efficient.
Wash only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher. Unlike the clothes washer, there is no water level option on the dishwasher. Therefore a small load and large load cost the same. And use the air-dry feature instead of the heated option for more energy savings.
Dust off the slow cooker. Consumers can use a lot less energy than cooking a meal across several burners in the oven. Some ovens run at 120 volts, and if you're using a stove with 220 volts at 10 amps, that calculates to 2,200 watts an hour. Compare that to a crockpot that runs at 120 volts at 1.5 amps which equals 180 watts an hour. Even at eight hours cooking time, the wattage equals 1,080 -- half the wattage used to power an oven for an hour.
Cook smart -- there is no need to preheat the oven for broiling or roasting and don’t open the oven door to check on food. Every time you do that, you lose 25 percent of the heat.
Use a microwave oven instead of the oven. You'll burn about 40 percent less energy. Keeping the inside of your microwave oven clean also increases efficiency.
Use lids -- they help the food cook more quickly by keeping steam inside.
Save In The Bathroom
Opt for the cold water option on your washing machine and save about $60 a year. Installing a high-efficiency showerhead could save you up to $100 a year because it uses one-third to half the water used by regular shower heads. And upgrading to a low-flow toilet can save 4,000 gallons a year.
Save In Your Computer Room
Put the PC to sleep. -- using the standby or hibernating feature can save $75 a year. While you're at it plug all your electronics into a power strip so they can all be turned off at once. Electronics account for 15 percent of the average household's annual energy bill and standby power, which is energy consumed when devices are plugged in but not in use represents as much as 75 percent. For some households that means $250.
Save Throughout The House
Arrange for an inspection -- a worn-out filter or unsealed duct could reduce the unit's energy efficiency by as much as 20 percent. An inspection can cost up to $100, but that could easily be offset by energy savings that will benefit you for years to come. Plus, if you schedule your appointment before contractors are swamped with repair requests, you might be able to get a 10 percent early-bird discount.
Add insulation -- an estimated 10 percent of older homes are under-insulated. Properly insulating and sealing the home can cut heating and cooling bills by 10 percent.
Program your thermostat, which will give your furnace a break and save you as much as $60 a year.
Seal up your home: Air leaks through cracks along windows and door frames can cost you as much $225 a year. But for as little as $10 you can buy some caulk and weather-stripping to plug up the drafts.
Change your light bulbs: A compact fluorescent bulb is about four times more efficient than ordinary light bulbs adding up to $50 a year in energy savings.