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education  and
social services

Do This and Watch Your Energy Bills Go Down!

The cold weather can really burn a hole in your pocketbook or wallet. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to cut your energy costs. Here are 10 tips for you to try.

1.    Use Residual Heat to Finish Off Your Cooking.

Turn the stove or oven off a few minutes before your food is done, and let the built-up heat finish cooking your food. You can try this when boiling eggs: when the water starts boiling, turn the stove off, put the lid on and leave the eggs in the hot water for 10 minutes for a hard-boiled egg (less if you want a soft-boiled egg).

2.    Make Use of Your Microwave.

Your microwave uses a lot less energy than a conventional oven, so it makes sense to look up some great microwave recipes online! If you do use your ordinary oven, make sure you don’t preheat the oven unless you absolutely have to. You do need to preheat when you’re making baked goods, but not when you’re making casseroles, for example.

3.    Have Mercy on Your Fridge.

Dirty condenser coils on your fridge force it to work harder to cool your food. Clean the coils every three months to ensure maximum efficiency. You should also let your food cool down and then cover it before putting it in the fridge, because putting hot uncovered foods in your fridge increases the temperature inside and causes the fridge to drain more energy.

4.    Replace Old Power-Hungry Appliances.

Replace appliances that are 10 or more years old with new Energy Star models. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star appliances use 10 to 50% less energy than ordinary appliances and also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

5.    Switch to LED Bulbs.

LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. The LED bulbs also last longer, so you will save money in the long term as well.

light bulbs

6.    Reduce the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater.

Turn your hot water heater down and watch your energy costs come down as well. According to Pepco, the water heater is one of the highest energy expenses in your home. Turning it down from 140°F to 130°F or 120°F will save you a few dollars every month.

7.    Wash Your Laundry With Cold Water.

Most of the energy your washing machine uses goes to heating water. Choose the cold water option and cut your energy bill! Make sure you do full loads, because washing machines (and dishwashers) are more energy efficient (and water efficient too) when full.

8.    Make Your Dryer Efficient.

After each load, remove the lint from your dryer to maximize efficiency. You should also clean the dryer trap with a brush and soapy water every few months to remove any lint that is trapped in the screen. According to GreenLivingIdeas.com, getting rid of the lint can make your dryer 15% more efficient. To speed up the drying time, put a few dryer balls into the dryer with your clothes. Or you can add a dry towel, which will soak up some of the moisture from your wet clothes, shorten the drying time and save you some money!

9.    Pile on the Blankets and Sweaters.

Put an extra blanket on your bed in the winter and wear an extra sweater or thermal top so that you can turn the thermostat down by a few degrees.

10.    Take Advantage of the Winter Sun.

Even though it’s cold outside, the sun’s rays can still warm up your house. Keep the curtains open during the day, especially the south-facing windows, which get the most direct sunlight. Make sure you close the curtains at night to keep the heat in.

Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends so they can save money too!

If you are struggling with your energy bills and live in Prince George’s County, Maryland, you can apply for help from Mary’s Center, thanks to a generous grant from the Pepco Holdings Inc. Community Foundation Energy Assistance Program. Click here to see if you are eligible and learn more about the application process.

References:

Energy Star Appliances: Save Energy Through Advanced Technologies by the US Environmental Protection Agency

Home Energy Saving Tips by Pepco

How to Use Your Washer and Dryer More Efficiently by Green Living Ideas

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