Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Works-for-me-Wednesday: $ Savers

I was reading the February issue of Family Circle and was intrigued by an article called, "Make Your Home More Efficient." According to the article, "the average American household spends $1,900 annually on heating, cooling and water usage." The article went on to list several simple changes you could make to save up to $1,000 a year.

I thought I'd share the suggestions, several of which have worked-for-me for several years.

1. You can use your ceiling fan in the winter to actually help you keep the warm air from staying near the ceiling. Just flip a switch near the motor and the blades will spin clockwise, pushing the warm air back down to your living space. We do this every winter and it definitely makes the rooms feel warmer. Savings: $15-$20 a year in energy costs.

2. Use a programmable themostat to turn the heat down (10 to 15 degrees) when you are not home and at night. We even have ours programmed to lower the heat when we're at church and to turn it back up about 20 minutes before we get home. They're available at all the popular home improvement stores and are easy to install. Savings: $100 to $125 a year.

3. Did you know showerheads can pour out 5 gallons of water every minute? I didn't until I read it. I also didn't know there are new low-flow showerheads that use just 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minutes. One of these low-flow showerheads can help you save up to 30,000 gallons of water per year. That's $80 for a family of four. Family Circle recommends testing your current showerhead by placing a 1-gallon bucket in the tub and turning on the tap. If it takes less than 20 seconds to fill, you should get a new showerhead.

4. Ironically, my SIL Marnie had just sent me a link about Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. These new bulbs use two-thirds less energy and last 10 times longer than regular bulbs. You'll save about $30 per bulb, on average.

To read more Works-for-Me ideas and tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.


Anne-Marie said...

Great tips...we've been talking about the low flow showerheads, and we use the flourescent bulbs, programmable thermostat, and ceiling fans as well. Looking forward to reading more on your blog.

Tami said...

Great tips! I'm always looking for ways to save energy. I still haven't bought any of those fluorescent bulbs yet, although I've heard about how much sense it makes to use them.

Mari said...

We use the light bulbs. They are great! It is the little things that count, right?

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Jill said...

I read the same article. Isn't it amazing how much you can save by doing those things? Have a great evening!

Ribbon Rock Star said...

Thanks for the tips! I am going to check on the programmable thermostat.