Last year people had record high electric bills to go along with the record heat. As we finish up the hottest spring in state record it’s a great time to work on cutting your energy use to help save some money. While there are a lot of ways to cut your electric bill, these are some easy tips to get your started.
- Get your A/C tuned up. Having your A/C tuned can help it run more efficiently, which in turn saves you money.
- Keep your windows covered. Closing your blinds and curtains can help keep the sun from shining in and heating up your home.
- Unplug unused items. Many electronics use energy even when they aren’t in use. By unplugging them you stop this vampire energy. You can even buy special power strips that turn the items all the way off for you.
- Change your light bulbs. Using CFLs and LEDs can help cut your energy use and also give off less heat so they heat up your house less than traditional light bulbs, saving you even more.
- Use fans. Fans can help make the room feel a few degrees cooler without using anywhere near as much energy as your A/C. Remember to turn the fans off when you aren’t in the room as they cool people, not rooms.
- Keep your A/C filter changed. This helps keep your A/C running efficiently.
- Turn off heat dry on your dishwasher. This setting isn’t really needed and it wastes energy.
- Wash your laundry in cold water. 90% of the energy consumed by your washer goes to heating the water. Using cold water will make a big difference in your electric bill.
- Wash full loads. Washing full loads of dishes and laundry helps cut down how many loads you have to run.
- Clean your refrigerator’s coils. Dirty condenser coils make your fridge work harder to keep your food cool.
- Use your stove and oven more efficiently. Things like turning your oven and stove off a few minutes before you are done with them helps reduce energy use. The built up heat will keep cooking your food for awhile after it’s turned off. Also be sure to use lids on pots to keep the heat in and use the right size pots for the burners to efficiently heat the food. And only preheat when needed, for things like casseroles or foods that cook for a long time, preheating isn’t always needed.
- Allow your food to cool before putting it in the fridge. This helps keep the food from heating up your fridge and making it work harder.
- Keep your freezer full. A full freezer helps keep the food cold with less energy. If you have extra space just fill up soda bottles with water and freeze them.
- Turn the thermostat up when away. Turning up your thermostat a degree or two when away from the home can help save you money. You don’t want to go much higher than that though because it can be hard for the a/c to get caught up when you do get home. Even better get a programable thermostat or use the one you have!
- Sign up for OG&E Smart Hours. Using OG&E Smart Hours can help you track your energy use and also by using the peak hour rates you can save a lot of money.
These tips will not only save you money, they will also help you go green!
Do you have easy tips for saving energy this summer? Share your tips in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.
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About the Author
Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and freelance writer. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.