July in Oklahoma means burgers on the grill, fireworks at night, and flip-flops at the pool. But it also means sky-high electric bills. The good news is it doesn’t have too. With a few simple, convenient household changes, you can see big savings on your monthly energy bills.
Open Every Vent
Some homeowners believe that closing vents can reduce energy consumption by preventing the need to cool or heat a particular room. This is a myth. Closing vents will actually raise your energy costs. Opening every vent ensures that your air-conditioner won’t struggle to keep your home cool or be kept running after its reached its target temperature.
Go With the Flow
Maintaining the right temperature in your home is often a matter of simple airflow. When it’s hot, air rises to the highest portions of your house. Standing fans can help circulate the air upwards faster so that the room can be rid of the hot air more easily. This reduces the workload and power consumption of your air-conditioner and keeps rooms cooler.
Cool Down Your Dirty Laundry
It’s widely known that washing your clothes in cold water will reduce energy costs. What’s not as well-known is just how much. According to LG Electronics, heating the water in the wash drum accounts for about 90% of the energy your machine uses. Your dryer manages to consume even more energy. If weather and space allow, you may opt to hang dry your clothes. But if this isn’t an option, you can still make your drying more efficient. The most important step you can take is to avoid overfilling your dryer. If there’s little room for movement in the drier, the hot air won’t be able to do its job and you may have to run the dryer a second time. That’s doubly wasteful so make sure your load doesn’t take up too much room before you wash it. Leave at least 25% of the dryer unfilled so there’s room for movement, and even more if you’re drying large bed sheets or blankets.
The Night Time Is the Right Time
Sometimes saving money is simply a matter of timing. Most utility companies offer discounts for usage during non-peak hours, usually beginning at 8:00 pm. If you can time your dishwashing and laundry loads to be done in the evening, you can see significant savings in the long run. You can even put suitable appliances on an outlet timer (most cost $10 or less) so that they’ll remember for you.
Throw Cold Water On the Problem
There’s no getting around the fact that dishwashers require a certain amount of heat to adequately clean your pots and pans, but if you watch your wash cycle, you can cut down on hot water use and still have crystal clear dishes come out of the wash. Rinsing agents like Jet Dry will prevent water spots just as easily as hot water. And while washing the dishes might require heat, drying them does not. Most dishwashers allow you to disable the heated dry stage of the cycle. Air-drying your dishes will produce significant long term savings.