What are some ways that you try to lower your energy bills?

United States
September 19, 2007 7:59am CST
We are always trying to lower our bills, gas and electric mostly, because they can be outrageous! We started only using our fireplace in the winter, it's got a gas starter, but we don't use the gas any more, we buy fire starters. We keep the heater set at about 65. In the summer we keep the air conditioner set at about 78 (which makes my 18 year old son crazy). We have a tower fan at the top of our stairs that oscillate, we have ceiling fans in all the rooms, and we put box fans in front of the vents to help circulate the air more. So many people come in and say it's so much cooler than their houses and ask how we do it. Most of them don't want to do it, they think the fans would look strange all over or that the noise would bother them. We don't mind, and the noise it's bad, it's just a constant sound that you get used to, and it really has kept our energy bills down. With 4 people living in the main house and my mother-in-law living in the addition, the bills could get out of control. She has her a separate heater, air conditioner and electric water heater, so it's a lot. What are some ways that you try to lower your energy bills?
5 people like this
20 responses
@msjigga (866)
• United States
19 Sep 07
Hi gapeach65! I am always trying to lower my energy bills especially in the winter months. I always use caulking on windows and doors, put plastic on my windows, keep the heat on at 70 never turn off except when it is warm outside because it cost more to turn off and on. I always use the energy saving long lasting light bulbs, I never keep lights on or electricity running too long, I always cover the vents in rooms I am not using, keep blinds in rooms open to let sunlight in. I am looking in to trane heaters @ trane.com that is suppose to save energy bills I dont know anyone who has use trane.
@Rickrocks8 (1751)
• United States
25 Sep 07
I try to hang up one load of laundry a day. When I am not home I turn up the ac two deg. In the winter I turn it down two. We use the energy saving light bulbs. In the summer I keep my blinds closed in the winter I open them up. Just simple things really/
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Sep 07
wash all your laundry in cold water not hot water. If you can stand it wash your dishes in cold water not hot, you will be amazed how much it saves. My husband says oh the germs. I tell him give me a break, we all live in the same house and share all the same germs. If someone in the house is sick, I do use hot water and 1 cap full of bleach. Other wise it is cold water all the way
1 person likes this
@Nanette99 (220)
• Canada
20 Sep 07
To cut down on our energy bill and help the environment, I wash my clothes in cold water and hang dry most things. I live in a condo so it is not easy, I have cleared out a good section of the front closet, lined the floor with plastic and dry a lot of my clothes there. I try to cook a lot at once and then just microwave it over the course of the week. So, if I am baking potatoes, I don't just bake enough for one night, I bake enough for three meals and I add squash in the oven, too. Then I come up with a lot of different microwaveable or cold potato and/or squash recipes over the next few meals. If I am just makng something small, I use the toaster oven instead of the oven. I also make alot of healthy, filling salads. Another thing I do is set my thermostat on a timer so that the temperature will automatically change when I am at work or sleeping. I hope this helps.
1 person likes this
• United Arab Emirates
20 Sep 07
I try to minimize the comsumption of AC by putting it on fan option when I feel that the temperature is not that hot(during summers). In winter, I try to use heater only when really needed. I don't put on AC unless the heat is unbearable. Normally fan helps me a lot and it is cheaper when we put it in cooling. What are the other ways to reduce expenses. I try not to waste anything. I give it to others if it is not of any use to me.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Sep 07
try when you turn something off, unplug it, just because something is not on doesnt mean your not still getting billed for it.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Sep 07
I use most of the methods you speak of in your discussion. I do not use box fans but have an oscillating floor fan that works wonders - even better than my ceiling fans. I also use energy light bulbs - the spiral ones that last 5 years. I do not turn on my air conditioner until it is 82 degrees inside and then start it. So, I have lesser energy bills and am delighted with the cost reductions. sunnywaters
@MisterPlus (1917)
• Philippines
20 Sep 07
dahlia. - being together as one.
I am from the Philippines and it is a tropical country and we don't use so much of the fans and air conditoners as in your country. We never experience snow just rain in the rainy season of June to November. Most of the appliances are plug in so to lower our bills we make sure that we unplugged those appliances if we are not using it. Most of the families here are quite what you call extended for they live together with the grandparents down to their grandchildren and mostly a few in the families provide for the living.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12913)
• Australia
20 Sep 07
This is an ongoing issue for us. I walk around the house turning off lights. I try to remember to turn off power ponts when not in use. I don't want the heater or aircondioner on unless really necesaary. In my bedroom I use a cooler, which is much cheaper to run than an ac. I close the curtainsd to keep the air conditioning in. I wish there was more I could do.
1 person likes this
@lightningMD (5932)
• United States
20 Sep 07
In the winter we keep our thermastat at 62 during the day and at about 58 at night. We just use an extra blanket. We make sure all lights are shut off when not needed. We turned the temp on the hot water heater down. I stopped using the dishwasher and now do them by hand. I also hang our clothes out to dry when ever possible. All these things have really helped lower our bills.
1 person likes this
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
19 Sep 07
electricity - we should all do our part in energy conservation
I can live without airconditioning, but my parents need it to fall asleep. Around 4am when they're already asleep I turn off the airconditioning. This practice saves us at least 2000 pesos a month in electricity bill.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Sep 07
dont leave things running that you arent using: lights, tvs, computers. Make a shopping list, so you dont have to make that extra trip back to the store for that one thing you forgot.
1 person likes this
@rachsal4 (391)
• United States
19 Sep 07
In the winter you can insulate the outside of the house, I forget what it's called but my husband used it on ours. YOu can get it a Home Depot. Also those pillow things infront of the front and back door, will help. And make sure that your storm windows are changed out from screen to glass, alot of people forget that one but it helps alot. Especially if you have old windows.
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
19 Sep 07
WE put in a programmable thermostat and put 3M on the windows in the winter. We are also looking for a fireplace insert that blows the heat out. My parents bought one two years ago and it was close to $2000, but then my dad cuts a ton of firewood and they use it all winter. They heat an 1800 sq. ft. house with it and sometimes it's down right hot in there!
1 person likes this
@Nykkee (2523)
• Canada
19 Sep 07
I am always looking for new and better ways to save money on everything. We use energy saver light bulbs in as many of our light sockets as we can (right now I have 4 lamps that take candalabra base bulbs and I am waiting for them to come out with a 60 watt equivalent that fits that type of lamp so I still have 4 regular bulbs in my house). We are going to seal all of our windows and the door that we don't use from the outside with plastic for the winter. We collect all of the fallen trees and stuff from the woods for fire wood before we order any to cut down on how much we have to buy. We don't use an air conditioner we just have ceiling and window fans. During the day we set the ceiling fans to blow up, to help lift the heat of put of the house and then we switch them when it gets dark out. We have water saver things on our kitchen and bathroom sink taps. We have a pressure tank to cut down on how much our water pump has to run. We are going to u get an insulation blanket for our hot water heater. We are going to seal around all of our window and exterior door frames with clear silicone. I go behind my husband turing off lights after he leaves rooms (yeah, I don't know why he can't do it himself, but he doesn't). We changed the oil in our car to full synthetic to try to help with gas comsumption. We do not heat above 17 degrees celcius in the winter, and we just wear sweaters and put warm blankets on the bed. And not that this is really an energy saving strategy but we let our cat and dog sleep in our bedroom and the combined body heat of the 4 of us in the room keeps the room quite warm through the night, even with minimal heat on.
• United States
19 Sep 07
I keep my A/C set at 80 and also use fans, heater at 62 (I'm always warm), use my toaster oven as often as I can instead of the oven on the stove. Heat a bowl of water to boiling in the microwave for small dish washing, saves on gas heater and all the water that runs through before getting hot. I never use my dishwasher anymore...big savings.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Sep 07
Our bills are about a third of our neighbors and I think it's because I've been green long before it became fashionable in our area and I read a ton of information about reducing our bills and reducing our personal footprints. Here's a few of the things that we do to help: fluorescent light bulbs, presets on the thermostat, the hot water tank set below the norm, colder laundry temperatures ....
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
19 Sep 07
Winter - keep heat at 63. AC only in the master bedroom and only on the hot days, lots of fans. Use cold water for the laundry. Put plastic on the windows. Use clothes line to dry clothing. Lots of blankets on the bed in winter.
1 person likes this
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
19 Sep 07
We use only fluorescent light bulbs at our house. We make sure we turn off lights we aren't using. We try to avoid using lights when there is enough sunlight to use it instead. We do laundry and dishes and things like that during off peak hours, so we don't pay as much for the electricity. Our house is pretty well insulated. The window we have that isn't a new thermal window is taped up right now. I'm not sure why it wasn't replaced when the last people replaced the others, though.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
19 Sep 07
We use those fluorescent bulbs rather than the incandescent bulbs. We had our attic insulated. We also use the duopane low energy windows and keep the curtain drawn, but then since I am not near-sighted, it does not do me any good so the savings are negated as I have to turn on the light to see anything. We have an air conditioner, and set it at 25 degrees c. which means that it is not on unless it needs to be. Mind you it gets very cold here in winter, so setting the thermostat back to 16 degrees c at night could be very dangerous. There are somethings you can do, but other things you have to put up with and some you cannot do without paying a lot, such as re-insulating your house. We plan to redo the basement when we do get the cash, but not at the expense of not going anywhere.