Greater Columbia, Chapin, Irmo, Lexington and Lake Murray.

Friday, December 24, 2010

High Electric Bills? Part 2 of 3

High Electric Bills This Winter?
3 Simple Steps to Lower Utility Bills

#1 - Insulate Interior Outside Wall electrical outlets and light switches
Read Part 1 in my series to see my motiviation for Step 1
I bought Duck outlet and switch plate foam covers from Amazon.   For maximum safety, turn off power at the breaker box.   Put the foam insulation pad behind the plate on all outside wall outlet boxes and switch plates.   One online resource mentioned also putting these foam covers outside on exterior electrical outlet boxes.   This is an EASY and INEXPENSIVE way to save on the cost of energy.

Duck Brand 1285359 Socket Sealers Variety Pack, 18 Outlet Sealers and 6 Switch Plates, White

I added socket sealers to all exterior walls

#2 - Replace those old fashioned incandescent light bulbs with CFLs
These bulbs have come down significantly in cost; last longer and use less wattage for comparable light.  So, you save money in several ways.   I recommend buying quality CFLs with the Energy Star rating.  For a 60 watt incandescent bulb, you can replace this with a 13 watt compact fluorescent light (CFL).   Do 20 of these in a home (I changed 52 in my home), and you've gone from 1200 watts to 260 watts.  They also burn much cooler (saving money in summertime cooling costs).
View Mel Coker's CFL web page

GE 13-Watt Energy SmartTM - 8 Pack - 60 watt replacement

I changed out 52 bulbs!

#3 - Change Your Heating/Cooling HVAC filters regularly
This is another important and easy step.  I change my two HVAC filters quarterly with premium electrostatic air filters from NordicPure.  Clean filters protect your inside living environment and your HVAC equipment.   They also allow your system to not run as much or long thereby SAVING ENERGY!
View Mel Coker's Clean Air web page
buy quality NordicPure HVAC 12 MERV electrostatic air filters directly from the manufacturer

Change HVAC filters regularly!

Of course, even bigger savings can accrue from cutting back on those appliances that really eat up electricity:  home heating/cooling heat pumps; water heaters; and dryers.

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates

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