Nobody likes experiencing "sticker shock" when the electric bill comes, but the idea of shivering in the cold or only doing laundry once a month in order to save on energy sounds unpleasant. If you're really hoping to lower your electric bill, here are five realistic steps you can take to reduce your home's electricity use.
Keep Your Curtains Closed in the Summer
While the sun streaming in your windows may look refreshing, it's heating up your home and making your air conditioner work harder. Keep your shades drawn any time your air conditioner is on and you'll use less energy. If you want to go one step further, invest in insulating curtains, which will do an even more effective job of keeping heat from seeping in.
Only Wash Full Loads of Dishes
If you don't produce a full load of dirty dishes every night, there's no need to run the dishwasher every day. Make sure it's completely full before you run it. If you're worried about smells from dirty dishes sitting for a few days, get into the habit of rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
Cook Less When It's Warm
Cooking inside during the summer just heats up your home and makes your AC work harder. Plus, if you have an electric range, indoor cooking uses electricity. On hot summer days, either grill outside or enjoy cold meals, like sandwiches and salads. You'll feel cooler when eating cool foods, too, so you may be able to comfortably turn your thermostat up a degree or two to save even more.
Use the Microwave Instead of the Oven When Possible
When you want to heat something up or even cook a simple dish, always opt for the microwave over the oven. It uses a lot less electricity — plus, you won't have to wait as long for your food.
Consider Turning Your Fridge and Freezer Temperatures Up
According to the FDA, the refrigerator temperature should be at or below 40°F and the freezer should be at 0°F. Use a thermometer to measure the temperatures of your fridge and freezer. If they're colder than these recommended temperatures, turn up the dial. Keeping them colder than necessary is just a waste of electricity.
To learn more about saving electricity, check out our post "3 Simple Ways to Cut Back on Your Electricity Bills That You Might Not Have Thought About."
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