I just wanted to share my energy savings tips! Our electric bill kwh hour jumped almost double so I had to come up with something to help. It all sort of played out slowly.
Starting in January I decided consciously to stop leaving the lights on so much in the daytime (disabled homemaker), unless I was reading and that was big step one. I wanted to darken my bedroom one day and used an aluminum sunshade (for car windows) to darken my bedroom window. My husband works 2 weeks nights, then 2 weeks days, his schedule flops back and forth. Makes it crazy around here. That worked so well, I went out and purchased (had the first one already) 4 more, so spent about $8 bucks for the whole trailer.I cut them to fit about the top half of all the windows in the place taping them on with wide clear tape. (I know I have seen people using aluminum foil for years , with my kitties that wouldn't last 30 minutes!) It is sort of like you have put up awnings on your house, without the expense! I allowed for my critters needs to look out the windows in various window spots, so it is not a dungeon by any means. Boy, did this cut down on the heat tremendously.
Also by necessity (live by 2 major highways stones throw away and noisy), we run fans 24 hours a day. One of the fans had quit in the living room, goes along with a second fan plus the ceiling fan! Anyway, I went to Walmart and ended up buying an industrial type fan 20 inch high velocity fan (on high I call it our 747 fan, lol). Believe me it has it's benefits besides helping on the electric bill bunches, blocks out the highway noise, and the teenagers' too loud TV and/or music! It's a godsend.) Worth every penny of $35 plus tax. I also got one for the bedroom since I am a light sleeper. These are something we have to have no matter what. Anyway, when I started recently comparing electric bills to last year , say July's bill was almost $60 less, at about 22% savings. It's been every bit as hot, and I am very extremely hot natured. The a/c has been on most of the time since February! We hardly every touch the thermostat leaving it on 75-76 degrees continuously!
I hadn't realized how major a life adjustment we had made until comparing bills. Very importantly, by conscious choice, we only use the oven maybe 4 times a week, as compared to every day before. Yes, I still cook, but mostly do skillet or stovetop meals, or even the crockpot. I found a new skillet cookie recipe that is awesome, and we like to eat rice krispie bars a lot, lol. And of course ice cream! Anyway, seeing as how energy costs have continued to skyrocket I feel like I have done wonders for us and it didn't hurt us one bitty bit!
For us this didn't work, but some electric companies participate in off peak hours for electric usage. I checked with our company and it basically is only for people who are keeping property, but not living there. They told me yeah you can sign up, but if you use ANYTHING at all electric, you start paying 10 cents a kwh. That means not even an alarm clock, freezer , a/c or nothing. I thought how absurd. The only people it would benefit is people not living there at all! I figure they aren't all like that because I have read of people doing their laundry (my intent) during the PM hours. You might check it out to see if it would work in your case. Anyway, all this stuff works for us as a family and might work for yours' as well. Good luck!
By Lori from Marion, AR
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Hi,Keeper here in NC,disabled also.Awesome hint on the aluminum car window thingy..Happen to have on in my car,not in use.Means I'll have to take down my expensive blacl trash bags!lol.When my son comes to visit and turns on the oven,My eyes bug out!! I have a toaster oven,microwave,crockpot(not new)and I invested in a lrg.elec fry pan again.Havin insomnia(good or bad)I do the laundry most times 2am.or around there.I'm in a mobile home also,and not a lick of shade.Thanks again for the window tip..
we use aluminum foil. place it shiny side out.reflects the heat and keeps it so much cooler
This spring we installed a whole house fan and although it was an investment, we have saved close to $200 a month so far on our bill. We also replaced all of the lightbulbs in our house with the energy saver bulbs. Not only do they save us money, the light seems to be brighter so we do not need so many going.
Great idea for the windows--thanks for sharing. I live in an apartment with a sliding glass patio door. I hung a flannel sheet (bought at a thrift store) between the blinds and my semi-sheer drapes. It blocks out the sun and heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. It matches the drapes so doesn't look tacky. :) I just don't use the oven during the summer months as it causes the a/c to run too much. You might check with your electric company to see if they offer average monthly billing. It has been a huge help to me.
Thanks for your tips!
Would you mind sharing your skillet cookie recipe per chance? Sounds interesting.
I, too, wouls love that cookie recipe. Thanks!
Hi Suzanne, Aluminum foil wouldn't work for us with our kittie cats. They would have it scratched off in no time flat and be a waste of money. The aluminum car sunshades also have some thickness to them which I believe provides extra insulation from the sun. We are already on levelized which helps out a tremendous bit! I'll try to get that cookie recipe on later!! Thanks everyone.
::perk:: Skillet cookie recipe? PLEASE share!
I would love to have a copy of this recipe!
Sounds so interesting!
To help keep a/c bill down, I grill outside in the summer, also have an electric convection oven I use outside if I absolutely need to make an oven made meal!
To keep the cats from bothering the foil, double sticky tape it to cardboard. The foil side faces the glass, and the cardboard faces inside. You can then "pretty up" the cardboard side with wallpaper, fabric, photos, or if its a low window or a patio door and you have kids make it a flanelboard.
I'm pretty lucky because even though my apartment is a ground floor one, I live on a hill so any slight breeze that happens comes right through the place. On our living room windows there are wooden slatted blinds and they come in handy keeping the living room cool from the summer sun. I don't have aircon even though I live in a subtropical climate with awful humidity. I just decided that the expensive power bills weren't worth it. Since doing that I've dropped my power bill by $16 from last quarter. That doesn't sound like a lot but it does make a difference.
I also replaced all the light bulbs with energy efficient onces and any room not in use has the light turned off. If I'm going into any room for a few seconds, I do it in the dark because I pretty much know where everything is. It's only if I spend time looking for seomthing that I turn on the light.
I use the microwave wherever possible for cooking and if I use the oven, I cook the food with the oven on for half the recommended time and then turn it off for the other half. That way the kitchen doesn't heat up so much and the food still gets cooked without using too much power. I also cook a couple of differnt things at the same time.
Great tips. I'm putting together a list of things we can do to lower our bills.
I use mirrors in many of my rooms. They double the light, so I don't need as many electric bulbs burning.
You have many great ideas! Another idea you might try is adding mirrors to your home. I save on the number of bulbs I have to turn on, because the mirrows reflect and enhance the electric lights.
I think everyone is feeling the pinch with electric bills. Great to see people sharing tips, and the $60 a month you saved is a great start.
I saved about 30 dollars a month by switching to the CFL 20 watt bulbs.
I planted hedges in front of my house, next to the paved road. They have grown tall, and keep the heat away from my house. When I check my mail, across the street; Coming back into my yard is a great relief: The tempature drops dramaticly. I also moved some maple trees that came up in the yard, to better places, to shade my house.
Also I wonder if the aluminum siding on my house interfers with the electric, magnetic field, and causes, our style homes, to register highter electric bills. We recently painted our house, and hope it might cause a reduction in the bill for this reason.
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