Electricity rates from North Central Electric Cooperative may be increasing for the first time in 23 years, but you can take steps to reduce your energy consumption and your electric bill. Here are a few pointers to help you save money on your energy bills.
Because we live in North Dakota, heating your home is the largest energy expense for most people. Here are some easy steps to take to reduce your heating bills.
*Turn the thermostat down! Keeping the heat turned down will save you money. If you are away from your home for a few hours during the day, you can turn the heat down even more. If you feel cool...put on a sweater!
*Change furnace filters. Furnace filters should be changed at least once a month. Your furnace needs proper air flow to operate efficiently. Clogged filters make your furnace work harder and may make your home feel cool.
*Make sure you weatherize your home. Insulate, caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors, and close up those holes and cracks in your home where heat may be lost.
*Use a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan works wll to distribute the heat in your home. On sunny days, make sure your curtains are open to let in the sun’s warmth. Close the curtains at night. Open the oven door when done cooking.
*Close off unused areas. Did your teenager go off to college? Turn the heat off in their bedroom. Turn the heat down in underutilized areas.
*Switch to electric heat. North Central Electric Cooperative has special rates for electric heat that make it much less costly than propane or fuel oil. In fact, electric heat costs about half of what propane does.
*Turn the thermostat down. Setting your water heater’s thermostat at 120 degrees will reduce costs, while still providing you plenty of hot water.
*Take showers, not baths. Showers use less hot water. While you’re at it, install low-flow shower heads.
*Wash your clothes in cold water.
*Repair leaky faucets.
*Use dishwashers and clothes washers only when full.
*Insulate your water heater if it is located in an unheated area.
*Turn the thermostat up! A setting of 78 degrees is cool enough. Don’t turn your thermostat to a cooler setting when it gets hotter outside.
*Change furnace filters. A clogged filter will make your central air conditioning system work harder, and lead to increased maintenance issues. Make use of ceiling fans, too.
*Use a central air system rather than a window air conditioner. You’ll be more satisfied with a central air system. Window air conditioners ae energy hogs, noisy and cool only limited space.
*Use a heat pump. Besides cooling, a heat pump will do some of your heating, at high levels of efficiency.
*Install new, energy efficient appliances.
*Use energy saving settings. For dishwashers, allow dishes to air dry by opening the door before the drying sequence starts.
*Don’t use an unneeded appliance. Many people have an extra refrigerator or freezer that they probably don’t really need.
*Turn appliances off when not using.
*Use fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy, and last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs.
*Turn lights off when not using.
These are just a few simple ideas to help you reduce your energy bill.