Conserve Electricity at Home
Have you considered how much it costs you to have a light on in your
home? Saving the Earth is not the only goal of conserving energy or
electricity; saving money is a direct result of energy-saving tools and
appliances. If you are like most of us, you pay little to no attention
to your electricity meter. The monthly bill comes and goes and so long
as there is not a noticeable rise in the invoice, the details of your
energy use are not typically stats we seek out. In fact, the electrical
jargon itself inhibits us from even attempting to understand those meter
readings. Watts and kilowatts and kilowatt-hours each come with their
own code of abbreviations that leave the average,
not-professionally-licensed-electrician homeowner, a little bit baffled
- and rightly so.
When you make time to get to the pile of bills, sit at your kitchen
table and try to focus, ignoring all the background noises, it's all a
person can manage just to get that checkbook to balance, let alone
decipher the foreign terms on the electric meter reading. However, it
only takes a moment to understand the basics, and getting these
fundamentals down will help you make the best decisions when it comes
time to purchase green products and energy conserving items.
So let's get started. First of all, electricity is billed to you by the
kilowatt-hour or kWH. On average, one kWH costs about $0.08 to $0.15. To
rack up a kWH, you must use 1,000 watts of electricity. To put it in
more common terms, 1,000 watts is equivalent to using a 100 watt light
bulb for ten hours.
Now that you have a better understanding of a basic fee associated with
your electric bill, here are some ways you can go green and get more
electricity for your dollar and promote energy conservation in your
Buy CFL bulbs: CFL bulbs cost more up front, but average to save you
$40.50 per year, per bulb in electricity fees. While the out of pocket
expense is greater, you will recoup those costs by the 720th hour of
usage and from that point on, you are saving money. These green bulbs
use less energy, usually a fourth of what a standard bulbs would use up.
They also last longer than standard bulbs. Typically, the life of one
CFL is equal to about 10 standard bulbs.
Don Your Sweatshirt: A sure-fire way to conserve energy is not to use so
much of it. In the winter months, keeping the heat on a low setting and
adding a layer of clothing, like a sweatshirt or simply a pair of socks,
is a highly effective way to save money and energy. In addition, your
nose will thank you; having a heater on low helps to prevent the air in
your home from becoming dry. Having the heat on high not only consumes
more energy, but leads to more energy use because dry air is often
counteracted by plugging in a humidifier.
Shed Your Skin: In direct opposite of adding a layer, the summer months
are perfect for packing away heavy sweatshirts and wearing lighter
clothing around your home. By adjusting the temperature one or two
degrees above your comfort zone, you will be able to quickly adjust to a
new temperature. Your body won't notice the change, but your pocketbook
will definitely feel the savings.
Flip It and Exit: An obvious but often neglected green practice is
turning off a light when you leave the room. Your mother probably nagged
you about this when you were a child - you probably nag your children
about the same thing. If a room seems to dark and you find yourself
turning on all the lights in your home, try getting a different fixture
with a more sheer or lighter shade, or changing the globe for a whiter,
less opaque globe. The more light that penetrates into the room, the
less compelled you'll be to need all the lights on.
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