Cool Tips for Reducing Your Electric Bill Year-round in Des Moines

January 13, 16

Reduce_Electric_Bill_Des_Moines.jpgWinters in Des Moines tend to be on the chilly side, with snow not uncommon. That means your furnace is likely to get a workout during the heating season. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to keep your electric bill under control this winter. Follow these tips for savings now, when you're using your heating system, but remember that most of them can also be put to use in the summer as well, so you can save money all year long.

Use Passive Solar Heating

In winter, you can make use of natural sunlight from your windows to keep your home warmer. Open drapes or blinds and let the sunshine in. In summer, close the window treatments to block heat gain.

Set Your Thermostat for Savings

Winter or summer, you can set your thermostat so you save money by reducing energy use. In the mornings when you get up and in the evenings when you come home, you can set the heat to a comfortable temperature. Before you go to bed or leave for work, set the thermostat back as much as 10 degrees—62 is a good set point—for these hours to keep the apartment adequately warm while not wasting heat. Reverse the procedure in the summer, and set the thermostat higher when you're sleeping or away.

Unplug Electronics

Households in this country on average consume 5-10 percent more electricity than necessary due to energy vampires—a term that refers to power drainage by electronics after the device is turned off. Many appliances and devices continue to draw power even when they are not in use. Some typical energy wasters are phone chargers, DVD players, computers, TVs and satellite TV boxes. One good way to limit the power drain is to plug electronics into a power strip and turn them all off at once when you turn off the strip. 

Change Your Light Bulbs

Switching from incandescent to fluorescent light bulbs is one of the best ways we know to save energy. One compact fluorescent bulb uses about six times less power to generate the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. Fluorescents also last six to eight times longer than an incandescent bulb.

Cook Smart

Use your microwave to cook whenever you can. You can even bake potatoes in the microwave in 10 minutes as opposed to 50-60 in your oven. You'll also consume less power if you use a microwave or electric kettle instead of your stovetop for heating water for tea or coffee. Be mindful of the hours of the day you use your range to cook meals or for baking. In summer, avoid cooking in the hot afternoon so that your air conditioner doesn't struggle to cool a too-hot apartment. 

You're sure to notice the difference in your monthly electric bill once you adopt these energy-efficient tips in your household. Let us know in the comment section if you think of others. 

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