4 quick money saving tips

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There are a lot of things you can do to save money on your electric bill. Some tips are easy to accomplish, some are more difficult, and some require a professional. My tips today will be some you can do on your own. They don’t require a lot of money or time.
1. Fix, replace or install weather striping around your doors. Your doors and windows are the biggest problem for sealing up your house. You can get all different types at your local hardware store. If you have metal doors they make a magnetic type that works great. If wood there’s a foam type. All types basically peel and stick. It’s very easy to install.
2. Don’t turn your thermostat up while your away. Turning it up some is ok, but turning it off or way up will require your unit to work twice as hard later.
3. Don’t shut off some of your vents. The vents or registers should stay open all the way, or at least cracked open a little. You’d think if your not using a room, if you shut off the register and shut the door it will make it cooler in the rest of your house. Well that’s not true. Your a/c unit and your ductwork is specifically designed for your house. If you shut off registers it’s basically like holding your hand over the end of a hair dryer. It’s forcing air back on the fan making it work harder, therefore running up your electric bill. Also if you close the door to a room there needs to be a gap between the carpet/floor and the door. If the carpet is snug against the bottom of the door when the door is closed, it’s the same principal as shutting the vent.
4. Get unplugged. We’ve all heard this before. Unplug unused items in your house. Items like a coffee maker and computers draw power even when they are off. Other items are just as important to unplug, like phone chargers, TV’s, lamps. Basically anything plugged in should be unplugged. Now I understand its almost impossible to do this everyday, but getting in the habit of unplugging will help lower your bill. These are 4 quick easy tips to make a difference. Now I need something from you. How much was your last electric bill?

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So many light bulbs so little time

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If you’ve been shopping for light bulbs lately, you know that you cant just go pick up a light bulb and go home. There’s incandescent bulbs, Compact fluorescent, and LED’s.  That’s just they types what about sizes? In my house I have 3 different size bulbs.  1 size definitely does not fit all.  Leaving sizes aside we will look at types today. 

  • Incandescent bulbs- You might have noticed walking through the light bulb section at the store. These are hard to come by.  Why is that? Well our government decided they would mandated that we make smarter choices.  Its called the incandescent phase out.  In 2012 they stopped selling 100w bulbs. 2013 75w bulbs will be phased out. 2014 all other incandescent will be phased out.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the old 100-150 watt bulbs were terribly energy inefficient.  They could produce upwards of 350 degrees of heat.  How do you think your easy bake oven worked?  It was a light bulb. 
  • Compact fluorescent- aka CFL- Compact fluorescent bulbs are basically miniature fluorescent light bulbs like you see in commercial businesses. These bulbs have come a long way.  The technology is getting better with these bulbs.  They use to be notorious for making a humming noise and flickering.  MOST of the time these don’t do that any more.  The great thing about these bulbs are the fact that they are over 75% more energy efficient than their incandescent counter part.  That right there should be enough to make you want to change out your incandescent’s today.  These bulbs now come with the capabilities of 3 way lighting for lamps or dimming features.  The price is coming down also.  With the pricing getting better and the studies that show CFL’s are lasting up to 25 times longer, this decision is a no brainer, or is it?
  • LED’s- or light emitting diode- LED’s are my personal favorite.  LED lights use only 6-8 watts as compared to a 100 watt or 75 watt incandescent (if you can find one).  The incandescent typically last a respectable 1,200 hours, where the LED last a whopping 50,000 hours. The LED cost about $32 a year to operate, the incandescent cost $328. These are all wonderful features of the LED bulb, so what’s the down side?  Right now the down side is the price of the LED.  As technology gets better the price will continue to drop as it has been doing.  LED’s are new to the market for homeowner lighting. 

So what does all this mean?   Your going to have to swap to CFL or LED soon due to a lack of incandescent bulbs. Which bulb you choose is up to you.  Each one has its down falls, CFL’s aren’t made to flip off and on regularly.  They will last longer if they are on for 15 min. or more.  Flipping off and on will shorten the lifespan of the CFL.  LED’s are expensive, but will save you enough money to pay for itself eventually.  Try the different bulbs to see how you like them.  Your probably not going to replace them all at the same time so try them out.

 

Have you tried either of these and if so what’s your opinion?