It's never more important to spend your money wisely as it is when there is a global financial crisis; most people are currently feeling the pinch of less than ideal amounts of money to spend on expenses every month. Recently it seems that the cost of electricity has skyrocketed and many people are struggling with the rising costs of utilities. With a little bit of forethought you can cut down your energy usage and make those pennies go just a little further.
Probably the biggest impact you can make on your heating bill is by adjusting the way you think about heating and cooling. Don't heat your home up to toasty levels in the winter or sub-zero levels in the summertime; you only need to heat your home as high as 68F in the winter and down to 78F in the summertime. This way you save energy and money; wear a sweater in the winter if 68F feels too cool for your tastes. These are reasonable temperatures but may require you to wear a sweater in the winter!
Make sure that the filters for your furnace or A/C system are kept clean so that it doesn't take a lot of extra energy to blow air through them and waste your money in doing so.
Another great way to save energy and money in your home is with your lights; we all know that it's important to turn off lights that you aren't using but many of us don't really think to actually do it. Each time you have a light bulb burn out replace it with a low-energy compact florescent bulb, this way it isn't costing you a lot to replace them all at once and you're not wasting the perfectly good incandescent bulbs.
In the bathroom, install an inexpensive low-flow shower head; you can also find a few models that have a pause button so that you can wet down, pause the water while you wash, and then rinse. Even one minute of paused water can make a big difference every day.
Another way to save on hot water is to reduce the temperature down to 120F in your hot water heater; if you have more than a couple of people living in your home, you might need to schedule showers so that there's enough hot water.
In the kitchen, there are a few ways that you can save energy. Regularly vacuum the coils on the back of your fridge to keep it working efficiently. Only run the dishwasher when it's full and let the dishes air dry. Use your microwave to heat small amounts of food and cook small items when you can; the microwave uses a lot less energy than a stove.
Speaking of washing, try to wash all your clothes and bedding in cold or warm water. Air dry items whenever possible and touch them up in the dryer if need be.
Take a good look at your windows and outside doors; re-caulk around doors and windows if they're drafty and replace the weather stripping under your doors if you can see light under them.
The last tip for saving energy in your home is one that many people don't think about; many appliances—even when turned off—draw a current. It's a good idea to unplug appliances that a great many of us leave plugged in all the time like: toasters, coffeemakers, and chargers. These things don't draw a lot of energy, but as with all the other energy saving tips here, when you add them all together they can make a difference to the environment and to your pocketbook.
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