5 simple ways to lower your energy bill without freezing or melting —
Lowering your electric bill each month is an easy #EcoMonday goal to achieve if you focus first on reducing your heating and cooling costs. Since the greatest amount of energy drawn from your local electric company power grid typically comes from heating and cooling your home [with your hot water heater pulling a close second, follower by your washer and dryer, refrigerator, that oh-so-cool big screen plasma TV, and then all those convenience appliances and nifty electronic gadgets that constantly drain your house even when off (by pulling phantom energy)], you want to turn that thermostat DOWN in the winter and UP in the summer for sure. But what if you don’t want to freeze or melt? Don’t worry — there is still hope for you to be able to cut electric bill costs while being comfortable in your own green house.
1) Always turn off the lights off when you’re not physically in a room or using them outdoors. Why? Because electricity costs $0.10 per kilowatt hour. Running indoor lights, table lamps, and even for outdoor lighting wehn you don’t need to use it is dumb, plain and simple in eco freindly terms. Turn that light OFF, we say! [Can't you just hear the writers here at GCN doing our best impersonation of your mother?]
2) Use energy-efficient light bulbs to reduce power costs. They are also known as Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL). We even have special energy-saving light bulbs here at the office that mimic natural light so well, they are great in the winter for preventing Seasonal Affectation Disorder. The life span on eco friendly light bulbs seems to be running from one to seven years. We’re on year three for most of our new round of eco friendly light bulbs. We’ll tell ya when and if we make it to that old age target for them when we get there. The hottest you’ll get is typing in eBay bids for these.
3) During the hot summer months, raising your home’s thermostat UP from a sweater-inducing and bone chilling arctic wind 72 degrees to a gentle and balmy breeze 78 degrees can decrease cooling costs by almost 20%. It’s COLD in HERE! was a smart call out by Granny for sure — turn up that AC and save yourself some grocery money. If you get hot, keep a hand fan by wherever your favorite place to sit is in the living room, find a shady spot with a good breeze on the porch, or rest the inside of your wrist against a tall, cool glass of icy lemonade. Keeping your wrist against the cool will lower your blood temperature that circulates past it. You can also try a great trick campers and hikers already know — buy a 99 cent bandana and make it into a folded 2-3 inch strip neck kerchief. Get it wet in really cold water you keep in your fridge or cooler. Wring it out and tie it around your neck. While the water evaporates next to your hot skin, it will have a cooling effect — and to have it loose but across your carotid artery will cool the blood flow that goes directly to your head.
4) In the cold winter months, turning your thermostat DOWN from that skin parching 72 degrees to a more responsible 68 degrees can decrease your home heating costs by up to 15%. I know those of you who get cold easy won’t like hearing it but we have some green tips for ya. First — wear LAYERS. Second, invest in a warm long sweater jacket you can wear as a house coat to stave off chills. Third, never underestimate the chic fashion element of wearing a warm scarf around your neck — even while in the house. [We like organic wool yarn but if that is too scratchy, Pashmina cashmere also works well.] Fourth — buy a warm pair of socks to wear over what you already have on; take your snow boots off at the door and slip your camping socks rated for Arctic weather over the socks you are already wearing before you slip on that favorite pair of furry monster slippers. Last, buy a soft, sexy, comfortable knit cap that you can pull down over your ears if you get a chill. There was a reason why people used to wear sleeping caps in all the eras of the past. You lose most of your body heat through the top of your head. Wearing a warm hat indoors can help you settle down for a long winters nap.
5) Kill the energy vampires, and we don’t mean the Twilight love triangle trio of Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black — and no, we don’t know which character is quite in the middle of that love sponge. Did you know that when your electronics are plugged in, they still leak energy when turned off? It’s called vampire power or phantom energy drain, and it sucks up about 20% of your annual energy usage. The green tech gadget gnomes that live at the North Pole (not in Forks) actually came up with all kids of new green product toy designs that make great last-minute holiday gifts for people who don’t want to plug-in and unplug a lot. Look for power strips that reduce phantom energy drain while making it easier to turn all your electronic gadgets and gizmos off. The coldest you’ll get is if you have to go from car to inside Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy these during the winter months Holiday shopping season if the weather outside is frightful.
For more fast green news, follow @greenexoticcar on Twitter.