Switching one heavily used incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb only costs about $5, but the move can save you about $20 a year. Below are other tips to help you cut back on spending money on electricity.

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Switching one heavily used incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb only costs about $5, but the move can save you about $20 a year. Below are other tips to help you cut back on spending money on electricity.

Slash your energy bills

Small steps add up on utility savings

Yampa Valley Electric Association fields as many as 1,000 customer calls a year about how to save on energy bills. And the association is happy to help, YVEA spokesman Jim Chappell said.

"We really encourage people to give us a call," Chappell said. "We even have one gentleman whose main job it is to help people save money on energy bills."

Suggestions offered include cooking with a microwave or crock pot instead of the oven, using a ceiling fan in homes with high ceilings and using timers instead of leaving items plugged in during the night.

Chappell said the association highly recommends switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent ones, which he said can cut lighting bills in half or more.

The association encourages the switch so wholeheartedly it's currently offering each YVEA customer a free compact fluorescent bulb.

"It saves us money. It saves the consumer money. And it's good for the environment," Chappell said about the bulbs and the association's giveaway.

YVEA also offers its customers free energy audits in which an association employee visits a customer's home to evaluate its appliances and efficiency.

Chappell said one major way to save on energy bills is by upgrading refrigerators.

"Models manufactured today, compared to the 1970s, use about 30 percent of the energy of the ones made in the '70s," Chappell said. "There's huge savings in refrigerators."

Wrapping a blanket around a water heater can help cut costs as well.

Below is a list compiled by McClatchy Newspapers that outlines ways to cut use and the savings associated with each suggestion.

Five free things you can do to cut energy use:

• 1. Turn the computer off when it's not in use.

Savings: About $60 per year

• 2. Adjust the heat or air conditioner when you leave the house for a few hours.

Savings: As much as 10 percent on annual heating and cooling bills

• 3. Use the microwave as often as possible.

Savings: Nuking food for a few minutes costs about a fifth of the amount it takes to cook food longer in the oven or on the stove.

• 4. Turn down the temperature on your water heater.

Savings: 3 percent to 5 percent savings for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature. Try lowering it to 120 degrees.

• 5. Unplug electronics when they're not in use - particularly cell phone chargers - and put computers and televisions on power strips that can be turned off. Televisions, cell phone chargers, stereos and other electronics suck electricity even when they're off.

Savings: 5 percent on your electricity bill.

Five cheap ways to reduce energy use:

• 1. Switch one heavily used incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb.

Cost: $5

Savings: $20 per year

• 2. Install low-flow showerheads.

Cost: $15 to $25

Savings: $25 to $65 per year

• 3. Seal windows, doors and any other openings with new caulking and weather stripping.

Cost: $100 to $300

Savings: Up to 10 percent on your heating or cooling bills

• 4. Seal other air leaks. Install foam insulation gaskets behind electricity outlet plates or light switch plates. Close the damper on the fireplace when it's not in use.

Cost: $0 to $10

Savings: Small but incremental as you seal more crevices.

• 5. Replace traditional holiday lights with LED lights.

Cost: $75 to $100

Savings: Save 90 percent on the cost of electricity for your yard display.

Comments

batticdoor 5 years, 1 month ago

How To Reduce Your Energy Bills / Energy Conservation Begins at Home

Imagine leaving a window open all winter long -- the heat loss, cold drafts and wasted energy! If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan or AC Return, a fireplace or a clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home every day.

These often overlooked sources of heat loss and air leakage can cause heat to pour out and the cold outside air to rush in -- costing you higher heating bills.

Air leaks are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Air leaks occur through the small cracks around doors, windows, pipes, etc. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits caulk and weatherstripping provide to minimize heat loss and cold drafts.

But what can you do about the four largest "holes" in your home -- the folding attic stair, the whole house fan or AC return, the fireplace, and the clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Attic Stairs

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an attic stair cover. An attic stair cover provides an air seal, reducing the air leaks. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling.

Whole House Fans and AC Returns

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan cover. Installed from the attic side, the whole house fan cover is invisible. Cover the fan to reduce heating and air-conditioning loss, remove it when use of the fan is desired.

Fireplaces

A recent study showed that for many consumers, their heating bills may be more than $500 higher per winter due to the air leakage and wasted energy caused by fireplaces.

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a fireplace draftstopper. Available from Battic Door, a company known for their energy conservation products, a fireplace draftstopper is an inflatable pillow that seals the damper, eliminating any air leaks. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.

Clothes Dryer Exhaust Ducts

An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This will reduce unwanted air infiltration, and keep out pests, bees and rodents as well. The vent will remain closed unless the dryer is in use. When the dryer is in use, a floating shuttle rises to allow warm air, lint and moisture to escape.

If your home has a folding attic stair, a whole house fan, an AC return, a fireplace, and/or a clothes dryer, you can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes.

Mark D. Tyrol is a Professional Engineer specializing in cause and origin of construction defects. He developed several residential energy conservation products including an attic stair cover, an attic access door, and is the U.S. distributor of the fireplace draftstopper. To learn more visit www.batticdoor.com>

greeneyedgurl 5 years, 1 month ago

I think you have great tips but i didn't think this was an advertising forum?

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