Being disciplined about saving energy has a lot to do with knowing how your home and the things inside of it use the energy you’re paying for. Every month when you get your electric bill, there are certain items and appliances in your house take more responsibility for the total dollar amount than others.
Identifying these items and either minimizing their use or attaching them to surge protectors that can be turned off at night, are crucial to cutting down your electricity expenses. Many of these items can drain electricity even when they’re not on and end up costing you even when you’re not using them.
Even still, all electrical appliances have made our lives easier and we shouldn’t force ourselves to live without them.
Instead we should note which ones use up the most energy and concentrate our efforts to regularly keep them in check.
These are five of those items that you are likely to have in your own home.
1. Dishwasher. – Running the dish washer uses a lot of hot water and many of them have heated drying as part of their cycle. While the dishwasher isn’t thought of as something we can limit our use of, there are a few ways we can keep it in check.
- Wash the dishes by hand, and then use the dishwasher for just a rinse cycle.
- Make sure that the dishwasher is completely full before you run it.
- Turn off the heated dry option and just dry them yourself.
2. HD-TVs. – Once again, this isn’t something we’re particularly interested in depriving ourselves from; nor should we. This is however an item that should be hooked up to a surge protector.
At night before you go to bed, just switch the surge protector off and you’ll prevent the TV from draining power while you’re not using it. Even keeping the surge protector off during the day while you’re at work is a good idea.
3. Computers. – Though it makes less sense to have computers off throughout the day, you should employ the same surge protector strategy and keep it turned off when you’re gone for long periods of time, or when you know you won’t be using it.
If you can’t keep it turned off, use the following two tactics to minimize power usage.
- Set the monitor to power off and the computer to go to sleep after 10 minutes of idle time.
- Avoid leaving games or websites that utilize heavy graphical use running when you’re not using them. These cause your video card and processor to use more power.
4. Clothes Dryer. – A surge protector won’t help you here, but you can at least consider spreading your usage of the clothes dryer thinner by incorporating a clothes line. Even if you only use the line three or four times a week, that’ll save you around $5 off of your monthly electric bill.
5. Space Heaters. – If you strike a balance, using a space heater along with central heating can save you a little bit of money. In general though, any electrical appliance that produces a lot of heat will cost a lot to run, and space heaters are no exception.
If you’re accustomed to using one to stay warm, use it sparingly and avoid letting it run for too long. A little goes a long way with a space heater, so once you have a room warmed up, go ahead and cut the space heater off to save power.
Natasha Risinger is a blogger with a background in the energy industry. Her articles appear on personal finance and eco related blogs. Find out about energy providers in Texas at http://www.texaselectricityproviders.com