I have been thinking a lot about conserving energy lately. It probably has something to do with the changing of the seasons. Usually, our area gets a temperature "reprieve" in September and part of October. It works out so that we don't need to use the air conditioning, furnace, or water the lawn for about five or six weeks, saving us money on our utilities. Now it's getting to be time to switch gears and start thinking about heating bills, again.
Two years ago, Dear Hubby and I saved our pennies and installed a new furnace and air conditioner. The original builder of our home was a total jingle bell, in my opinion. He/she put in top of the line carpet(which is the thorn in my behind 27 years later, because it's this horrendous blue color but still serviceable), and paid for professional decorating, but( as far as I can surmise) to save money they installed a furnace and air conditioning unit way to small for our square footage. We froze in the winter and sweltered in the summer, and still paid ridiculous gas and electric bills! The new furnace and air conditioner have helped immensely, but it still costs money to heat our square footage.
I have started a short list of ways to conserve energy and save on our utility bills. So far I have come up with:
- Weather stripping. It's not something you think about until you see that crack of light shining between the outside door and the door jamb. It is amazing what a difference new weatherstripping makes around outside doors.
- Insulate switch plates and electrical plates. You can buy these at Home Depot or Lowe's.
Drafts can sneak in around switch and electrical plates located on outside walls.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed on days when the sun isn't shining. Of course, open them up on sunny days to let the sun help heat the house.
- Throw an extra blanket on your bed, so that you can turn the heat way down at night.
- Wear a sweater or layers during the day, so that the thermostat can be set at a lower temperature.
- Bake on cold days. It helps warm up the house (and it smells great,too).
- When you use your oven bake several items to eat through out the week, and bake several things at once. For example, bake your veggie, main dish, and a bread or potato in the oven at the same time (See picture at top of post, and disregard dirty oven....it's on my To Do List.....I promise!).
- Run the washing machine and dishwasher during non peak hours. Usually, later at night.
- Turn off lights in unused rooms. This should be a no brainer, but the troops have not grasped this concept at our house. I am the light Nazi, going through the house turning off lights and ranting to all that will listen!