In case you were wondering, I do not sit around all day reading Woman’s Day Magazine. Really, I dont. Really. I swear. BUT…this article has some great ideas in it if you are looking for ways to save a little change on your electric bill. From Woman’s Day:
“In the heat of summer, electric bills skyrocket as everyone turns on air conditioners just to survive. Add to that the dozens of electrical appliances, entertainment centers, power tools and gadgets we all use, many of which automatically consume power, even when they are supposedly turned off -and you’re on the fast track to a monthly money pit.
These tips will help you reduce the hidden costs of all those lights, TVs and gizmos you can’t live without.
Just Cool It
1 Soften those rays. Closing the curtains and lowering the blinds on the sunny side of your house will help keep you cooler on hot days. If you don’t want to obstruct the view, consider applying window film to the glass. Both the do-it-yourself cut-and-stick type and the professionally applied films will reduce radiant heat while allowing you to see through them. Similarly, the Rocky Mountain Institute suggests using outdoor awnings and, if you live in an area that is warm all year round, even painting your house a light color to reflect heat away.
2 Choose your windows carefully. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that window air conditioners be placed toward the center of the room on the shady side of the house.
3 Get your annual checkup. Your house’s biggest electricity guzzler is the air conditioner (and heating in the winter), accounting for as much as half of your energy bill. Make sure your systems are running at their highest efficiency by having annual professional cleanings and checkups. To help you remember, schedule a service call either when you set your clocks forward in the spring or back in the fall.
4 Change is good. Change the filters of your air conditioner and furnace monthly. Keeping the air flowing and clean is good for your lungs and will help maintain peak efficiency. Don’t know how? Ask the pro who does your annual cleaning to show you.
5 Bigger is not necessarily better. Be sure your air conditioner is the right size for the room. Obviously, if it’s too small, it won’t do the job. But, according to the DOE, a unit that’s too big will result in reduced efficiency, higher electric bills, uncomfortable temperature fluctuations and excessive wear and tear, which means you’ll probably have to buy a replacement unit much sooner.”
Check out the rest of the story: Woman’s Day Magazine – 17 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill