3 ways to save on energy bills

Of course you want to save on energy bills.

But you also want your home to be cool and comfortable during the dog days of summer. 

All it takes to do both is to make a few simple changes at home; changes that will reward your efforts with a dramatically lower electric bill.

These energy savings tips for daily living are easier than you might think.

  1.  Cut Electric Bills with Energy-Saving Heaters, Thermostats, and Low-Tech Window Curtains

If your home's heating or cooling unit is more than 15 years old, you might want to replace it with more energy efficient products.

The newer models, which require less maintenance, pay for themselves in energy savings, frequently in as little as three to five years.

To keep your home cool during warmer months, draw the curtains and close the windows to keep hot air and the sun's burning rays out. Set the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when you're home.

For every degree you raise your thermostat, you'll be saving power and energy - and 3 to 5 percent on your monthly energy bill.

Also consider installing a thermostat with a built-in timer. While you can easily adjust your thermostat yourself to comfortable temperatures, it's more efficient for energy savings to have a system that does it for you automatically.


  2.  Save on Energy Bills by Lightening Up

Since energy for lighting accounts for 10 percent of your energy bills, you can easily lower your electric bill by simply lightening up on your wattage.

If you're using 100-watt bulbs where 60-watt bulbs would do, replace them. And consider switching to energy saving lighting such as fluorescent bulbs as well.

Lighten up on your interior decorating, too: Pale colors for walls, draperies, rugs, and upholstery reflect light and can reduce the number of lamps needed to adequately light a room.

Outdoors, replace incandescent lighting with high-pressure sodium or outdoor fluorescent bulbs for an additional way to save on energy bills.

  3.  Save Energy While Cooking Dinner

It's easy to cook up energy savings in the kitchen.

  • If you keep range-top burners and reflectors clean, they'll better reflect the heat and require less energy for cooking.
  • If you cook with electricity, turn off burners several minutes before the end of the allotted cooking time. The burners will stay hot long enough to finish the job without using any more electricity.
  • When you have a choices between using the range top and the oven, go with the former to save on your energy bills.
  • If you do use the oven, open it sparingly; each time you open it, heat escapes and the oven will use even more energy to maintain the cooking temperature.
  • Use a pressure cooker and the microwave whenever possible; both save energy.
  • When you're boiling water, keep a lid on the pot; water boils faster when you use a top to hold in the heat.

› How to Save on Energy Bills