Small changes around the house add up to big savings each month when the power bill arrives. Plus the changes will help keep your home warmer in the winter while saving you money. Make these small changes and watch the money savings add up.
Make Sure Home is Airtight
The heating (and cooling) costs drive up the price of the power bill, so it makes sense and cents to ensure your home is as airtight as possible. Do a quick check DIY air leak test on windows and doors by grabbing a partner, a candle and a blow dryer. Light the candle and stand inside near a window, have your partner go outside with the blow dryer. Move the lighted candle around the perimeter of the window while your partner is aiming the blow dryer at the window’s perimeter. If the candle flame flickers (or worse, goes out!) you’ve got an air leak. Perform this simple air leak test on all windows and exterior doors. Add weather stripping or chalking where needed to prevent air leaks and save money on power bills.
While you have the lighted candle in your hand, hold it near electrical outlets and light switches, both of which are unexpected sources of air leaks. If the candle flame flickers, you got an air leak. Add a piece of insulation or foam gaskets behind the outlet or switch plates to stop the air leaks.
Turn Off Exhaust Fans
In one hour, a tiny exhaust fan in the kitchen or bathroom can completely expel a houseful of warm air. Only use exhaust fans when absolutely necessary and only leave the fan running for a short amount of time.
According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ( ACEEE ) every degree the thermostat is set back for an eight hour period shares 2% off the power bill. And bringing the house back up to the desired temperature uses less electricity than leaving the thermostat turned up.
Unplug, Turn Off and Fill Up
A plethora of small changes can be made around the house to save money on electric costs, like unplugging, turning off and filling up. Any small electrical appliance that will not be used for an hour or longer can be unplugged to prevent phantom electrical usage , if the appliance will be unused for less than hour, turn it off to save money.
To save money on the electric usage of large appliances, like dishwashers and washing machines, always fill them up before turning them on. Keep refrigerator and deep freeze full to save on electric usage too.
Sources: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy