- During cold weather, consider spending time in a smaller section of your house and closing off as many rooms as possible. Instead of heating your entire house with your heat pump, consider using a portable heater in that smaller area.
- Open your curtains on the sunny side of your house to allow passive solar heating during the day and close the curtains when the sun goes down to lock in the warmth.
- The federal tax credit for solar panels is 30% of a residential system. That comes right off the top of your taxes that are due. If you don’t use it up the first year, it keeps rolling over to the following year. Solar panels are a fraction of what they were just a few years ago. If you have an electric car: a charging unit coming off the solar panels cost under $1000 now to keep your car charged up. In a couple of years, the cost of storage batteries should be cost effective to add to your home solar system and power your home during the night. At today’s solar panel prices and the federal tax credit you could receive a return on your investment in a matter of years and help clean up our air in the meantime.
- Back to low-cost ways to save on your electric bill: plug in your electronics on a power strip with an on-off switch and a surge protector and when you’re not using them flip the switch off. Most electronics use some power even when they’re not being used and still plugged in.
- Your wireless router uses a lot of power when it’s radiating a signal all through your house. If you can plug in an ethernet cable directly from your wireless router to your computer (also turn off the wireless signal, which should be separate from the on-off switch), you’ll save a lot of wasted power.
- If you take a long shower and still have plenty of hot water, you could turn down your hot water heater. I have a 50-gallon water heater and have turned down the temperature to 105F. I still have plenty of hot water available. Most dishwashers have their own heating coil. Keeping 50 gallons of scalding hot water constantly available eats up a lot of power. Make sure you turn the circuit breaker off before you adjust the temperature. Also, check all your pipes to make sure they’re insulated.
- When you run the dishwasher use the no-heat dry option and pop open the door after the washing and rinsing is complete. This will allow the built up heat to escape into the house along with needed moisture during the winter.
- In the winter, if you put your washed clothes on a clothes rack for indoor drying, you can add moisture to the dry air in your house and save the cost of running a dryer. Most dryers are vented outside which is a complete waste of energy.
- If you have an attached garage, when you come back home, close the garage door right away. The heat of the engine will warm up the garage while you’re unloading the groceries the heat will work it’s way into the house as you open and close the door.
- If you have a fireplace, take a flashlight and shine it up the chimney to make sure your flue is sealed tight. A lot of heat escapes up unused fireplaces.
Let’s show Duke we don’t need an oversized gas plant.
Thanks for being a part of the solution!