4 energy-saving tricks for your appliances
August 15, 2014
If your electricity bill is higher than you'd like, some of your appliances may be to blame. However, there's no need to dine by candlelight and buy all new gadgets. Follow these easy money-saving tips and you'll have a few extra bucks at the end of the month to put toward the rainy day fund.
1. Invest in advanced power strips
. Appliances that are powered on but not in use leach electricity. An idle coffee pot, hair straightener, television or computer can continue to use energy, and if you have too many of these "vampire" gadgets, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that your monthly bill can be up to 10 percent higher. By installing advanced power strips where you can, appliances can't use electricity when they're not in use. These are particularly handy in home offices or entertainment centers, which often have five or six plugs in one spot.
2. Turn down your AC.
When you're rushing out the door trying to get the kids ready and head to work on time, your air conditioner is the last thing on your mind. But if you make it part of your morning routine to turn the temperature up, even by a few degrees, it can save you some serious money. There's no need to keep the whole house at 70 degrees when no one is home, so turn it to 75 when you leave each day. You'll be amazed at the dollars you can shave off your monthly bill without sacrificing your cool.
3. Adjust the water heater.
Have you ever turned on the shower only to be scalded by too-hot water? If so, then you can probably adjust the temperature on your water heater. Switching the setting to warm instead of hot can be extremely beneficial in conserving energy. As an added bonus, you'll step into a toasty warm shower instead of a boiling one.
4. Keep appliances clean and in good condition.
It can be a bother to clean filters during the beautiful summer months, but a clean appliance is an efficient one. Make a point to check the filters on your air conditioner, refrigerator water supply and furnace - write it on the calendar if you have to! Also take note if an appliance isn't functioning properly. If the freezer is struggling to keep its temperature down, its probably sapping more energy than it should. Check the warranty to see if it's covered or consider investing in a newer, more efficient appliance.
For more energy-saving tips around the home, visit the U.S. Department of Energy's website
The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.