Around the House: Reduce Your Energy Bills Despite the Summer Heat
By Yehudit Garmaise
It’s hot, it’s humid, and we want to blast our air conditioning, but our electric bills loom large.
When cooling down is your priority, BoroPark24 provides a few tips on how to keep both your room temperatures and your electric bills at reasonably low rates.
The first way to avoid overpaying Con Ed is to ensure that you turn off the lights when you don’t need them.
At least 15% of the charges of any energy bill come from lighting, Janice Lieberman, a consumer reporter told news12 Brooklyn. During the day, try to open the shades to take advantage of natural light, and if you are the last one to leave a room, be sure to turn off the lights.
One of the easiest ways to save energy on lighting is to replace incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs, which reduce the energy by 75%, pointed out Katelyn Tsukada, a Con Edison representative.
For rooms in which you don’t need light, Tsukada recommended closing drapes during the sunny hours to prevent the sun from heating up the house.
Other tips to use less electricity include waiting to run washing machines and dishwashers until you have full loads.
To reduce energy use all day long, New Yorkers should unplug any electronics, such as phone chargers, coffee makers, microwaves, and hair dryers, which only need to be plugged in briefly, while they are in use.
If you have many items in one room that are only used for brief periods or on one day a week, like lamps and electric timers, Tsukada said to buy an advanced power strip, so that you can simply flip one switch off to cut the power of several items, instead of trying to remember to unplug them individually every day.
Also, make sure to unplug any appliances that you have but aren’t using at all right now, such as second refrigerators.
If you need to buy any new appliances, Tsukada recommends only buying “energy star” appliances, which meet strict energy efficiency criteria that are set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy.
In addition to lots of unplugging, residents can save on their energy bills simply by doing things that require energy, much faster.
For instance, shorter showers, will require much less energy, and cooking with microwaves, which heat up food much faster than ovens, can considerably cut your electric bills.