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Start Monitoring the Amount of Electricity You Use at Home

Guest Blogger #853, Entry #2038, January 22, 2012
Unless you are someone who can afford to have a house that runs solely on solar energy (and if so, that is absolutely awesome), there is simply no way around the fact that you are going to have to rely on electricity.Yet, just because we are dependent on it, that doesn’t mean that when it comes to the amount of energy (and money) that we spend is totally out of our control. Indeed, there are things that we all can do in order to properly monitor the amount of electricity that we use at home.

kitchen wood modern

How do you save energy in your kitchen?

Image via: Mosaic Architects – Jim Bartsch

Monitor how much electricity you use with these tips from my guest blogger. From your appliances to electronics, create a greener lifestyle.

Here are just a few ideas that you can apply:

Get to know your appliances and electronics.

Not all appliances are created equal when it comes to the amount of electricity that they use. For instance, a ceiling fan tends to need far less electricity than a central air and heating unit does. Microwaves only require power when they are on (which isn’t all day) and washing machines need more energy when they require hot water. Then there’s the refrigerator. When the compressor is on, it uses a significant amount of electricity, but when it’s off, it needs next to nothing. So, one way that you can monitor your electricity is to pay attention to what appliances you use and how you use them. If there is a month where you notice that your bill is significantly higher than usual, consider “switching it up” in your house by using your appliances differently. For instance, try washing your clothes in cold water and actually unplugging certain items when you’re not actually using them.

Read the labels.

A lot of us don’t give much thought to the fact that basically anything that has a plug attached to it has a little piece of paper on it as well. A part of the purpose is to provide us with any warnings that we may need to know (such as keeping plugs out of water), but it’s also to inform us about how many volts each item uses. Here in the states, the range is (currently) between 100-120 volts. However, the thing to keep in mind is that the number on the tag reflects the maximum amount. For instance, if your computer says “120 volts”, it’s only using a fraction of that. The bottom line here is that if you know how much each item uses, you can go online and research creative ways to get more out of your plugged-in items for less. While we’re on the subject of reading things, it’s also a good idea to get a programmable thermostat as well. It can assist you in presetting the temperature in your home, which is really helpful when you’re reading your electricity bill and making annual comparisons, especially in the peak of summer and winter.

kitchen appliances green living

How are you measuring electricity in your home?

Image via: Turan Designs

Get creative.

Say that your heating unit goes out towards the end of winter and a company like Lloyds Heating Service tells you that you have to replace it. That could cost you thousands of dollars and as you’ve probably already experienced, do a number on your energy bill. Until you can save up some money, get some space heaters; they use less electricity. Some other tricks to try are replacing your light bulbs with fluorescent ones, letting your clothes air dry, turning off the lights in the rooms that you are not in and setting your computer to “standby” when you’re not using it. If you apply these tips for a solid month, you should notice a significant dip in your electricity bill, for sure. Good luck!

For more green living ideas on Stagetecture, click here.

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