year, it seemed, spring arrived two weeks late and
summer a month early. So itís high time we talked
about ways to lower our electric bills.
advice on this point is the National Resource Defense
spend an average $240 a year just on air conditioning,
but you can cut your utility bill and still keep your
cool, says the councilís Meg Waltner, who provides
these tips from energy experts.
way is doing away with energy vampires ó devices
including cable and satellite set-top boxes, game
consoles in connected standby mode, computers left on
24/7, the extra fridge in the garage you use only a few
days a year, and such audio devices as amplifiers that
we tend to leave on all the time.
average, these things add $165 to your annual electric
bill, Waltner says. The solution: Unplug them when you
donít need them.
way to save, she says: On cool mornings, open windows
and let air circulate through your house. When it warms
up outside, close the windows and draw the curtains to
trap the cool air and block direct sunlight. The air
conditioning wonít need to run till later in the day.
same trick works in the evenings for climates with cool
conditioning is a huge energy drain that can be stopped
at the thermostat, she says.
the temps outside are in the upper 80s and 90s, you can
still feel comfortable even if you nudge the thermostat
good rule of thumb: If you have to wear a sweater to
keep from being too cold, reset the thermostat.
clogged air filter makes your air conditioner (and your
furnace) work harder, resulting in wasted money on
energy bills. If your filter is dirty or hasnít been
changed in three or more months, replace it with a new
you live in an area without drought restrictions, water
your lawn or garden in the morning or the evening, when
evaporation is lowest.
a drip irrigation system connected to a timer ó youíll
be able to better control the flow, Waltner says.
more information, go to NRDC.org.