Post # 1
okay- weird post i know but i am interested in knowing. Most of us newlyweds are now living together and many of us have bought our first home (or will be doing so soon) My hubs and i bought our house in march and due to some BAD experience with electricity bills in the past ( last winter the electric bill in our rental house, roughly 1500 sq feet ran 700-800$ a month, and we live in TExas!) anyway, we are trying to be as energy efficient and consciencous as possible. We started by buying a newer (2006) energy star home. We bought just enough room for us and the fur kids ( 1400sq feet) and we try really hard to unplug unused appliances and we have programmed the thermostat to be much warmer during the day when we are not home. So far our energy bills have been reasonable ( 150-200$) and we are hoping to keep them that way as the Texas heat bares down on us for the next couple of months. We are about the invest in blackout curtains ( we have custom wood blinds that DO help) but we were wondering if anyone else has any suggestions for making our home as energy efficient as possible. We would LOVE to invest in solar power but just don’t have the funds right now after all the money we spent buying a house and paying for a portion of our wedding. That is our long, term plan though. Suggestions? What have you done to be more energy efficient?
Post # 3
If you have a lot of electronics, there is a new surge protector that you can get usually called a "smart strip" These have one outlet that is the main connecting point and the others function off that one (or two sometimes I think) outlet. So, say you have your cable box, tv, dvd player, etc. You can plug your tv into the main outlet and when you turn it off, the other items will turn off along with it. These are to prevent the "vampiring" of electronics, or pulling energy even when they are off.
Just take note of all the items you have plugged in and if they really need to be (coffee maker, toaster, hair dryer, anything with a little light to indicate it is on or off). If you unplug them, it maybe be only a small help to your bill, but hey, it’s something!
I just looked up the smart strip and it led me to a site called chooserenewables.com looks like it could have some good products on it!
Post # 4
Plant leafy trees on the sunny side of your house to block the sun before it hits your house.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2009 - Church Ceremony/Reception at The Waterford House
We replaced all the window screens in our home with solar screens (the dark screens) and we’ve noticed it has helped a lot with keeping the heat out. You can find them at Home Depot.
Post # 6
Ugh, I know how you feel — all our appliances are electric and our house is made of paper… our electric bills this winter were no joke. Some things we did/would like to do:
**Buy an indoor drying rack and try to dry things like lightweight blouses or underwear/bras on it — it will save wear and tear on your delicates and energy from not using the dryer. If you’re in a neighborhood that won’t get on your case about it, do one better and get an outdoor clothesline. Of course, things like towels and jeans will still need to be tumbled, but it does help a lot. This assumes that you have an electric dryer, of course.
**Kind of a "no duh," but keep the house as warm in the summer and as cold in the winter as you can stand it. Those tower fans, strategically placed or carried around with you to where you are (kitchen & computer room are our two hottest spots) make a huge difference. Also, it takes more energy to switch the heat/air to on or off than to just set it on auto and let it do its thing. I think we’re probably past the in-betweeny stage now, but keep it in mind for future reference.
**In the winter, plastic-wrap your windows… you get this big film (basically just plastic wrap on a huge scale) and tighten it around your windows with a hairdryer — helps to insulate.
That’s all I can think of, but I’d love to hear other’s advice. Our house is such an energy sink, but we’ve managed to bring the bills down more than $200 monthly since we first moved in.
Post # 7
Using those energy efficient light bulbs shaved about $20 a month off our electric bill. They are pricier than regular light bulbs up front, but we got ours a year ago and have yet to change a bulb.
Also, how do you guys have such insane energy bills? Ours is usually around $25 or $30 per month, for 695 sq feet. The highest it’s ever been is $75, and that’s when we had a grow lamp plugged in 24 hours a day.
Post # 8
Install an on-demand water heater if you can afford one, if not use an insulating blanket on your water take to keep the water from cooling.