NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY

1-10 NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAYThere are some basic common sense methods that will improve your bottom line and leave you with more jingle in your pocket.  Here are just a few:

  • Keep the fireplace damper closed.  Seal the ductwork and make sure you have a timer on the bathroom exhaust fan.
  • Turn down the heat. You’ll typically save 1 percent to 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree you dial down.
  • We recently had a humidifier installed and it saved us nearly $40 a month on our bill.  Before long it will pay for itself and our air does not seem so dry and we’re less stuffy in the mornings.
  • Log off your computer and shut it down at night.  Unused equipment consumes energy and warms your space which pushes up air conditioning costs in the summer.  Highly efficient Energy Star equipment and appliances often carry no cost premium but use 20-50% less energy.  Remember to flip light switches off when you leave a room.  It’s a simple thing – but can make a big difference!
  • According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce your heating and cooling needs by 30% just by adding a few batts of new insulation in your attic if your house is more than 25 years old.
  • It can be expensive to have a gas-powered fireplace.  By trial and error, we decided to invest in a space heater for our office space in the basement and leave the fireplace turned off.
  • If you can see daylight under your doors, it’s probably time for new weather-stripping.  It’s fairly simple to replace – just remove the old and nail on the new.
  • Consider drawing up a service contract with a professional who will come to your house to make sure your furnace and A/C are working properly.  Replace the furnace filter once a month.  The professional will make sure nothing is obstructing an outdoor heat pump and verify that your furnace is not on “emergency heat” as this will turn off energy-efficient settings and could double your heating costs.
  • Electrical cables, gas lines and pipes that enter your house may have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with a caulk, but that will eventually crack, peel and fall off.  These gaps let air inside the house and are entry points for mice and other insects.  Seal those gaps with expanding foam.  For water pipes under the sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe.  The ring is just decorative and will not block airflow.

    These common sense steps add up over time.  Hopefully these tips will help you as they have helped us.  🙂

     

     

     

     

     

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NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY

TL 1-10 NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY

 

BUDGET CUTS

1-10 ENERGY CONSERVATION

With energy costs going up every year, wouldn’t you like to know how you can cut your energy costs?  I know, me too!   Let’s see what we can learn.

Well there’s certainly something to be said for using less.  I’ve always believed the old saying waste not, want not. 

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.  – Vernon Howard

Today is NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY and we’re going to see if there are other ways to see a difference in our energy bill.

I’d recommend you purchase a programmable thermostat. There are lots of provincial rebates and coupons that help you save money when you purchase a new energy-efficient programmable thermostat.  Our furnaces in the winter and air conditioners in the summer can be real energy suckers – but oh we’d be so uncomfortable without them!

I like to use my crock pot for cooking instead of heating up the kitchen stove.  It uses less energy, true, but I use it because I’m more comfortable with a smaller appliance.  To be honest, I forget to plug it in half the time and we end up eating out at a restaurant – LOL!  Of course I don’t do it on purpose.  What an accusation to make of me!  😉

I have a friend who enjoys canning and it saves her a ton of money!  She recently canned her own shredded chicken as well as stock and broth.  She notes 3 reasons for canning:

1.  Canning is therapeutic.  It calms her nerves and brings her joy.  She enjoys carrying on the tradition that her grandmother began so many years ago.

2.  She likes knowing that using her own canned goods means there are no dyes or preservatives.

3.  It’s quite cost-effective.  She said she cooked 40 pounds of bone-in, antibiotic-free chicken that cost $55.85.  It yielded 20 pounds of cooked chicken and 11 quarts of beautiful chicken stock!  We all know how much it costs to buy one little can of chicken stock – even the store’s name brand.

Photos courtesy of Tanya Parrott Moder

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  He who does not economize will have to agonize.  – Confucius

There are hot water heaters you can buy that heat the water faster than water from a hot water tank.  If I understand correctly, you no longer need a tank – the water goes through the little tube thing and you have hot water in an instant.  Unfortunately, they cost quite a bit of money, but I wish we had one in our house because it takes a long time for the water to get warm in the shower at our house!  I don’t know how much water is wasted waiting, but it may be beneficial for us to buy one of those hot water heaters.  I’ll have to crunch the figures.  That should be fun – I can hardly wait.  You know how I love math – NOT!

Hmm…  but then I saw this video:

So…  I guess we’ll be keeping our tank!

Of course, when you buy major appliances make sure they have an energy star rating.  Keep them in good working order and they should give you optimal service.

It’s best to run your dishwasher when it is full.  In our family that’s a challenge.  There are two of us and sometimes it’s easier to run a little warm water in the sink and squirt some Dawn dishwashing detergent in it – and use a little elbow grease!

A little caulking around windows can keep air from coming in the house.  We love the light and warmth of the sun when it streams through the windows on a mild, sunny day; however, when it’s cold outside – well, they whistle and during thunderstorms it sounds as though the storm will come indoors!

Doors should be checked and weather-stripping applied when needed.  It’s amazing how much difference these small changes make.  With a few minor adjustments we can all do better and save some money this year.  That’s money we can use for, say, a Longaberger basket???  Hey – to each his (or her) own.  😉

I know Christmas is over, but I thought this was so cute!

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They even want to economize at the North Pole…  LOL!  🙂