Over the past few months, I’ve been working hard to save money on our monthly power bill.Â So far, here’s what I’ve done –
I replaced most of the incandescent light bulbs in our house with compact fluorescent light bulbs.Â I found a big box of compact fluorescent bulbs on sale at our local hardware store and quickly purchased them.Â According to the Energy Star website, compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.Â They also last longer.Â I even found some that fit into our recessed lighting, with the curlicue bulb housed inside a standard looking enclosure.Â Pretty cool.
I had a professional air conditioner installer inspect and clean our HVAC system.Â I had an additional return installed, the unit runs more efficiently, and the house cools and heats much more quickly.
I inspected and made necessary repairs to the caulking around our windows and doors.Â I found two or thee places around our house where the original caulking had stripped away.Â I repaired those areas.
I added rain gutters to the back of the house and installed a do-it-yourself rain barrel.Â I am actually in the process of making another barrel.Â A portion of our water, that which waters the yard, comes from an electricity-using pump.Â By catching the rain water, I’m able to use it to water the flower beds – thus conserving water and electricity!
I encouraged my kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room.Â I have three little kids and they never stay in one room for more than, oh, two minutes.Â It’s hard for them to remember to flip the switch, each and every time.Â Still, they’re learning, and I’m always mindful to give them a high-five when they do remember.
I installed power-strips for all of our televisions.Â We have multiple televisions, and each television is attached to a satellite box, a DVD player, and one is attached to a video game system.Â Instead of leaving them on all night draining power, I can hit one switch – and turn of fthe television and anything attached to it.Â We do leave the satellite box in the den powered-on, because it’s such a pain to reboot the whole system, each and every day.
I purchased an Energy Star qualified washing machine.Â I also bought a new dryer, but there’s no such thing as an Energy Star qualified dryer.Â Seriously.Â I checked.Â By the way, when you are looking to save money while washing clothes, don’t forget to check the cap on your laundry detergent!Â You might be over-dosing your machine.
Like I said in the previous post, in 2011, I plan to be more conscious about the amount of time I run the air conditioner.Â Â I’d love to reduce usage by more than 20%.Â In fact, I’ll make it one of my goals.