Home Care Library
How to Save $20 on Energy in April (or May)
So let's go through each of the following 5 tips:
Shorten showers by 30 seconds each: On average, energy costs are about 21 cents/minute for taking a hot shower. So by shortening your shower by 30 seconds, you save about 11.5 cents (helpful accessory: shower clock/timer). This may not seem like a lot, but when you multiply it by 20 showers a month for a family of four, this small adjustment to your shower time can save you $8 on your energy bill in May. And if you do this all year, it will save you almost $100.
And even if you have already installed a low-flow shower head (which is great), reducing the time of your showers can still save you money on energy.
Change AC filters: Dirty air filters in your air conditioning unit increases your system’s energy usage by about 10%. This is because your air conditioner has to work harder to push air through a dirty filter (see types, costs, and reviews of AC air filters). So for an average electric bill of $60 for air conditioning in May, replacing your filter can save you $6. And if you do this all summer, it can save you about $25.
Raise AC by 10 degrees when gone: For every degree Fahrenheit above 68 degrees that you raise the set point on your air conditioning thermostat, you reduce your energy costs by 1-3%. So if you raise your set point by 10 degrees for 8 hours a day while you are gone at work, then for an average air conditioning bill of $60 for the month of May, you can save $3. And if you do this all summer, it can save you about $12.
If you like coming home to a cooler house, then you can take the extra step of installing a programmable thermostat that you set to automatically have the temperature in your home go up and down at pre-set times (see costs and reviews of programmable thermostats).
Eliminate standby power for TV / cable box: As you have probably read in our previous Newsletters, vampire power sources, that is, appliances that continue to draw power even when they are turned off, can really take a bite out of your wallet. For example, even when turned off, your television’s cable box consumes about $18 per year in vampire power, and your television adds another $3. So for the month of May, leaving these plugged in when not in use will cost you about $2, which you can save by using a simple on/off power strip.
And as we mentioned in our April 2011 Newsletter, if you use a programmable power outlet, then you can also include your Digital Video Recorder (“DVR”) box, which can save you an additional $3 in May, and about $40 for the entire year (helpful accessories: programmable wireless outlet remote controls; digital timers; energy-saving outlets).
Raise AC by 1 degree: And lastly, as we mentioned earlier, each degree Fahrenheit that you increase your air conditioning set point above 68 degrees will save you 1-3% on your system’s energy consumption. So if you wear cooler clothing, use a low-energy room fan, etc., and can become comfortable with having your home 1 degree higher, then for May you can add an additional $1 to this list of easy energy-saving tips for the month.
Related Articles . . .
14 Ways to Keep Cool AND Save Energy This SummerWant to keep cool this summer and save money on your air conditioning bills? Here are 14 helpful tips. Some of these tips don't even cost any money! more ▶
Stop Paying for Electricity 'Vampires'They are lurking in your home, and they attack while you are sleeping, when you leave . . . well basically, they attack all the time. It's the devices which continue to suck power, even when you have their switches turned off. more ▶
Programmable Thermostats Only Save If Used RightProgrammable thermostats can be a great way to save you money on energy, however, they can only provide savings when they are used properly. Find out how programmable thermostats work and the right way to use them. more ▶
Guide to Choosing & Changing HVAC Air FiltersFor saving energy and improving air quality, changing the air filters for your furnace is important. This article discusses: why you should change your air filter; how often to do it; how to choose the right filter; and how to do-it-yourself. more ▶
Where Your Home Energy Dollar GoesEver wonder where your energy dollars go in your home? This article shows you at-a-glance, so that you can focus on the areas that will give you the biggest bang-for-the-buck for reducing your home energy bill. more ▶
Why NOT to Get a Home Energy AuditHaving a home energy audit done by a qualified professional can show you how to reduce your home’s energy bill by up to a whopping 30%. But what are the reasons that you should NOT get a home energy audit? more ▶
Slaying Your Worst Electricity VampireDid you know that it can cost you more for the electricity to keep your DVR box in standby mode, than it does for your subscription fee? This article and video discusses a device that helps cut standby costs. more ▶