As the days grow hotter here we see our electrical bill start rising.
So, we are on a mission this month in our home to use less electricity!
You know this mission, right?
Daily fights over the AC temp and Mom constantly yelling, TURN THAT LIGHT OFF!
Sounds fun doesn't it? Ahhh, good times.
Anyways, we have found success in our efforts though and I wanted to share them with you.
For informational purposes just a few facts first :
We live in South Florida & use AC almost year around.
We battle seasonal allergies that prevents us from opening our windows in the spring.
The home we rent is 1200 sq feet give or take, built in 2002.
We do have a larger AC unit than is recommended, which helps.
First thing I tackled was the AC. It runs almost non-stop in our home.
This time of the year see's us rise from a $150 a month bill to $230 in a flash.
The outside temps rise and the ac works harder to keep up.
So even I keep the temp inside on 80, it still works harder to maintain 80 than it did a few weeks ago.
Then I realized the only sure way to make sure it doesn't run all the time was to turn it off.
Yes, I am a genius. ;)
If I turn the AC off the kids cried, how do we stay cool?
That is where I realized that just as our Northern friends fight to keep the cold out in the
winter, we must fight to keep the heat out in the summer.
We have vertical blinds on all the windows. We keep those closed.
It still felt hot in here. So I added lightweight curtains over top of the blinds.
Better but when the temps started climbing to the upper 80's, the heat slowly crept back in.
So I took pretty tablecloth that were in my stash, sewed a pocket and hung them in FRONT
of the blinds in the windows that got the most light.
This helped a great deal. We are now able to turn off the AC completely every morning
around 6 am and we make it to almost 5 - 7pm before it comes back on.
This trick alone when we can make it the whole 12 hours saves us HALF the KW's we were
using before. Don't believe me? Check it out...
You can see the days I circled. Those days were 40 and under KW days. If you look
under my account summary you will see that my highest daily usage was 76. I highlighted
the lowest point by clicking on it for the picture, my lowest day I used 32 KWH's. Ignore the
following day where I hit 61 KWH's. Let's just say even though I line dry most of the time, that
day was not a good day. Lots of children with nothing clean to wear. So I used, like an addict. ;)
Like with all the other examples and advice I give, I should point out that this is just one phase of
cutting our usage. Right now I looked to the biggest power sucker & worked on that. We have
a few more windows to cover before we move on to another phase. A programmable thermometer
would help but this is a rental and I am not sure of their cost. It is something I will run past a
friend of ours who installs AC's for a living.
The next phase? Not sure.
But here is a list of things I have written down that we want to work on in this area :
* Changing lightbulbs to LED's -
We don't do the CFL's due to the mercury in them should one break.
We do have two LED bulbs right now and we are very happy with them.
Turning out the lights help as well, not just saving electricity but they do generate heat in the house as well.
*Phasing out the dryer completely -
We use it for small things or like above, in a time crunch.
This involves me being more disciplined (ahem) in the laundry area.
*Using ceiling fan's effectively -
Right now the kids have it in their head that fans should be left on all the time.
I have tried to explain to them that fans only work if the person is in the room.
This website has been such help in reducing our costs.
*Dishwasher vs. Hand washing -
This one is going to require lots of research.
Our dishwasher does not work effectively so I think I already know the answer.
However I am not the dishwasher, a teenage girl is. And she is going to
want hard data to support my theory of her hand washing dishes.
*Baths vs. Showers -
We have well water. That means that every time we turn the tap on, it requires the pump to use
electricity to deliver it to us. Conserving water will help reduce ours costs.
However I am the loverof nice large baths of hot water.
That is my escape. I will have to curb those and I am not looking forward to that , at all.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas how to save money on your electric bill?
We would love to hear them!