Moneyday…Save on your energy bills.

26 Oct

With winter quickly approaching I am in major money saving mode since my heater is less than efficient. I’ve been looking for ways to cut back on our energy usage where ever I can, and I’ve come up with a bunch of great tips and tricks. Here’s my top ten energy saving ideas that cost little to nothing to implement and will save some money.

1) Don’t leave device chargers plugged in when you’re not charging. Plug all your chargers in to a surge strip and turn the strip off when you’re not using it.

2) In the winter time cover windows with a plastic insulation. We use this stuff on the windows in the kid’s rooms. It’s a big piece of plastic the gets taped around the inside of the window and you use a hairdryer to shrink it to fit tight. You really don’t even notice it once it’s in and it helps keep the cold out and the warm in. We cover both the boy’s windows for about $12, just don’t put it in until the weather is cold enough that you’re not going to want to open the window. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s carry it.

3) A programable thermostat was one of the best investments we made. Ours was about $50 and allows us to set a program so the house is cooler at night when we’re all sleeping and warmer during the day when the boys and I are home.

4) To go with our programable thermostat, we have a few space heaters. Both boys have a space heater in their rooms. Make sure when you get a space heater you look for safety features like a tip sensor that turns the heater off if it is knocked over. Our space heaters have thermostats on them so they’re not running all night long, they only run when the room gets cool enough. Bill and I have an electric blanket on the bed so we stay warm. Between the space heaters and the electric blanket we are able to really turn the heat down at night. Why heat the whole house while we’re all sleeping? You might be wondering how I can get out of bed in the morning if it’s so cold in the house? I set the above mentioned thermostat to start heating the house so it’s warm by the time I have to get out of bed.

5) Keep closet doors closed. If your heater is heating a smaller square footage it’s not going to have to work as hard. I also keep doors closed in rooms we don’t use often. If you have vents in those rooms or closets make sure they are closed too. I close vents that around exterior doors as well.

6) Turn your water heater down. It’s a pretty simple “fix” even for the less than handy person and it saves the gas or electric it takes to heat the water to a higher temperature. So, you might have to wait a few extra minutes to get that steamy shower, but you won’t be wasting energy or money.

7) For those with older water heaters, get that heater a blanket. For around $20 you can wrap your water heater in a blanket so the heat doesn’t escape as fast. Newer water heaters don’t need a blanket since they are insulated fairly well. How do you know if your water heater needs a blanket? Give it a feel, if you touch the side and it feels pretty warm or even hot a blanket will help keep it from having to keep running to heat the water.

8) Moving on to the laundry room. Try shortening your dryer vent hose. By having a hose that is just long enough to pull your dry out a few feet from the wall you’ll cut back on your laundry costs. Here’s what you do; disconnect the vent hose, vacuum all the lint out and cut. This fix takes just minutes and can help your clothes dry up to 20% faster. Faster drying clothes means less energy used to dry them.

9) Give your range a break and use your microwave. This one is especially good during the hot months when you don’t want any extra heat in the house. The microwave uses about half the power of your range and isn’t going to heat the house while you cook. I love the frozen veggies in the steamer bags, and I don’t have to pull out a pot and warm up the stove. There are tons of great recipes to make in your microwave, even a casserole!

10) Save water and the energy to heat that water by adding a shower timer to your bathroom. There are a couple different options for a shower timer; the less invasive kind just sounds an alarm when it’s time to get out, and the serious kind that actually turns the water off. The alarm timers are very inexpensive and really a $3 egg timer will do the trick. A shower manager is a much more costly option, but if you have a teenage girl in your house, it may be a worthwhile investment. For around $130 you can order your very own Shower Manager that will automatically turn a shower into a trickle after a preset amount of time (5, 8, or 11 minutes). There is an alarm 1 minutes before shut off to let you know it’s time to rinse off.

Alone, the savings on any one of these tips may seem pretty small, but by adapting a few of them to your everyday life the savings really add up. I want to hear some of your energy and money saving ideas, email me at MyLifeInMommyland@me.com and share some ways you’ve cut back your household expenses.

Happy Saving!

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