Living in a house with 5 bedrooms and four active children can be costly, especially when it comes to the electric bill. I took things into my own hands, and I made some changes around my house. Within a few months, we managed to cut our electric bill almost in half using a few simple energy saving tricks:
Use Battery Powered Tools – I spend a few hours a week doing DIY projects at home, cleaning up, and doing maintenance. Rather than using corded power tools – many of which use a lot of energy – I started using battery powered tools. Two battery packs are much cheaper to charge, and they’ll do the job nicely.
Properly Set the Fridge – I don't have a brand new Energy Star fridge, but I can save by monitoring the fridge I do have. Make sure it's set between 35 and 38 degrees F. That keeps food cold enough to prevent it from spoiling, but won't let it freeze either. On the proper temperature setting it uses much less energy every day.
Reduce Appliances – Rather than reducing appliance use, reduce the number of appliances. I don’t own a microwave, dryer, toaster, or dishwasher, which means hanging my clothes to dry, washing the dishes by hand, and cooking my food on the stove – all much cheaper options.
Use Gas Heaters – Electric heaters and central heating are very expensive, but gas heaters are much cheaper. It doesn’t get too cold in my city, but sometimes a heater is necessary. With just a few dollars a week, my gas heater easily warms up the rooms where we’re playing and working.
Don’t Spend Hours on TV – Did you know that sitting in front of the TV can raise your energy bill? I switched to using Netflix on my computers, and the kids spend time watching TV on their computers. We use the large screen TV when it’s time to watch something together, but it’s much cheaper to use a laptop.
Reduce Hot Water Use – Hot water from an electric water heater is expensive, but a gas water heater can be much cheaper. I cut back on hot water use by lowering the temperature setting on the washing machine, using dish basins for washing dishes, and cutting shower time down as much as possible.
Buy Light Saving Bulbs – With so many lights in so many rooms, my electric bill was going up just because my kids spent time in their rooms. I switched to energy saving LED bulbs, and it has been much cheaper. Buying the bulbs costs a lot initially, but it’s worth it in the end thanks to their longer lifespan and lower power usage.
Redo Your Insulation – Last winter, I had a leak under the front door that let in the cold air, which made it hard to keep the house warm. With just a bit of weatherstripping, the problem was solved. Over the summer, I re-insulated the house, and it’s been much warmer this winter.
Spend Time Together – If the lights and heat are only on in one room, there is much less energy being used. We try and do activities all in the same room, as that way we only need one heater and a couple of lights on at any one time.