Reduce Your Energy Bills Once and For All

The worst thing about getting bills is having to pay them. Unfortunately, if you don't want to be left in the dark, you probably don't have a choice. What you can do is reduce the bill by quite a lot.

There are a lot more things you can do to reduce that energy bill than you might think. Some of these you might already be doing, and some may not have occurred to you.

Everything Is Illuminated

Whether you live in a large household with twelve children and your grandparents or you're going it alone, you can save a lot of energy simply by switching off lights in rooms you're not using. It might be nice to be able to walk from room to room without having to switch the lights on and off, but is it really worth the extra cost on your bill?

If just one person in the house does this, you'll reduce energy usage, but teaching everyone else to do the same will really make a difference. One major benefit of this is that if you have any young children in the house, teaching them early to switch off lights they aren't using should ingrain it into their memory forever.

Cut Them Down to Size

When cooking a meal, chopping vegetables and meats into smaller sizes helps them to cook faster. Less time on the stove means less energy is used for the process, which means yet another little corner cut from your overall energy use.

A side benefit of cutting food into smaller pieces is that it will be more stomach-friendly: your digestive tract will thank you later. Additionally, using the right-sized pot or pan for the job can also help things to cook faster. And remember-a broiler does not need pre-heating.

Give Them Room to Breathe

If you have central air in your home, you can do two important things to cut down on energy use. First, be sure all your vents are unobstructed. This applies to both intake and output vents-in order to get proper air circulation, the air needs to be able to flow freely. That means not positioning furniture over vents on the floor or in the walls.

Then, of course, there's the matter of your HVAC filter. The longer a filter is in place, the more dust and debris builds up in it, and the harder your HVAC system has to work . . . which results in more energy being used than should be necessary. Regularly changing your filter can help a lot.

Pull the Plug

You might be surprised by how much energy you can save simply by unplugging appliances and electronics when you're not using them. Television sets, particularly plasma screens, actually continue to use a considerable amount of electricity while dormant.

Plugging your TV and other entertainment center components into a power strip will allow you to shut off power to all of them at once, saving you the trouble of unplugging individual devices when not using them. Things like cable boxes and wireless routers, which can be tricky to get started again, do not have to be unplugged.

Drip It Good

When it comes to laundry and dishes, you can save a lot of energy by letting them air dry naturally. Understandably, you may not have the space to air dry your clothing, but if you run your dishes through a dishwasher, disabling the "heat dry" setting will help you to trim down your energy use.

Even if you don't have the space to air dry your clothes, you can still help your dryer to be more energy efficient. Leaving enough room in the dryer for the hot air to circulate and reach all the clothing as it tumbles will save you having to run it a second time to dry things further.

Chill Out … But Not Too Much

Your thermostat may be too primitive for your energy saving requirements. Consider investing in a newer model that allows you to program different temperatures for the day and night. During the day, keep the temperature at a comfortable level that doesn't freeze you out. At night, set the thermostat for a few degrees higher-you won't need it as cool since you'll be asleep.

To save a little more energy, decide what you need from the fridge before opening it. Never leave it open while you do something el se-not only does this waste energy, but it also warms the food exposed to the outside air so that when the fridge closes again, it has to work harder to go back down to the right temperature.

You're In Hot Water

Finally, to save energy on your hot water heater, take a look at your tank's thermostat. If it's set to higher than around 49°C, you might be using more heat than you need. Turning the temperature down will prevent dangerously hot water, and end up saving you a lot more on your energy bill.

No matter how you choose to approach your energy situation, remember one thing: you're not just going to be saving money. You'll also be helping the environment, in your own small way.

For more information, be sure to check out our blog or contact our helpful staff at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating!

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