Monday, July 12, 2010

Conserving Electricity

by Carla Hill
Small habits can add up to big savings when it comes to electricity.

As the summer heat soars, so do many homeowners’ electric bills. Here are some savvy tips on how you can start saving both your cash and the environment.

1. Get Unplugged. You may think that simply turning a device or appliance off is enough to stop the flow of electricity, and the subsequent flow of money out of your bank account, but any item plugged in to an electrical outlet is drawing a small amount of electricity. So, unplug all of your items.

2. Swap it Out. Replace conventional incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) and save yourself in the long run. Energy Star reports that a CFL will save “about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.”

3. Energy Star Appliances. They are a more pricey change, but the long term savings can be well worth the upfront cost. These appliances are certified to use 10 to 50 percent less energy than your standard appliances. They also help reduce emissions and air pollutants.

4. Daytime Low. Most U.S. Households use some form of air conditioning during the summer months. If you have an empty house during the day, consider setting your thermostat to a higher temperature during the day, and then turning it cooler when you get home. If you have a more advanced system, consider setting a timer to kick on the cool 30 minutes before you return home.

5. Lights Out. This may intuitive, but turn off the lights in rooms you are not using. The same goes for televisions and computers.

Use these simple tips to reduce the cost of running your home this summer, and put that extra cash away into savings!

Published: July 12, 2010
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www.realtytimes.com

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