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10 secrets to lowering average kWh
There is no question Texas is an inspiration to the rest of the nation these days, considering so many of the fastest-growing cities in the nation are within Texas state borders.
But this rapid growth comes at a heavy price. Even though Texas leads the country in wind power generation, the electric grid is under an ever-increasing burden.
The first thing you should do is conduct a home energy audit. The formula for calculating kWh is:
(wattage × hrs per day used ) ÷ 1000 = daily consumption in kWh
Once you have your home’s results, you’ll likely see that hot water and climate control are the two largest drains on your power supply.
Turning off your air conditioning in the summer or taking cold showers in the winter don’t seem like good options to save electricity.
However, there are a few different options you have to save electricity throughout the year and cut down on high electricity bills.
Use your windows to your advantage. Keep your curtains wide open during the day and closed at night when the weather is cold out. During the summer, use your curtains to block the sun throughout the day and open them up at night to let heat out of your home.
You can even invest in curtains designed to keep solar radiation out of your home and keep it cooler inside.
Fans are an option to keep the air moving in your home while using less electricity. If it isn’t too hot outside, turn off your air conditioning and use fans instead to help cut down your usage.
As fellow Texans, we know it’s the humidity that will get you. Use a dehumidifier during the summer to help keep things comfortable in your home. With less humidity in the air, your body has an easier time cooling off. A dehumidifier will let you bump your air conditioning up a few notches which can have a big impact on your monthly electricity bill.
Use natural fresh air and sunshine to dry your clothes while doing laundry. Your dryer consumes a high amount of electricity to dry your clothes so running it less will lead to savings.
Instead of showering and paying to heat your whole water tank, install an on-demand system or hit the local swimming hole. Another place you can look for savings is old-style televisions and computer monitors. These suck up electricity and generate a ton of heat, so unplug these devices whenever possible.
Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs. You’ll get the same light output at a fraction of the electricity usage.
Even in hot weather, your house needs to be well insulated to keep temperatures right where they out to be. If your home is older with outdated insulation, look into the costs of upgrading to better insulation. The savings you see each year could easily offset the cost to upgrade.
Go online and check out the many DIY solar batch preheaters. In general, these use the sun to heat your water before it hits your tank. If the water is already hot when it goes into the water heater, the water heater doesn’t need to come on, or at least it won’t have to be on for as long.
A bonus is you have increased your hot water capacity. Always make sure you research local building codes and get your landlord’s consent if necessary.
Instead of filling a sink with hot water to wash the dishes, then draining it so you can fill it again to rinse, or worse, washing your dishes under a running tap, follow this method:
- Fill a Tupperware container with water, load it with dish soap, then squeeze in a sponge.
- Wet down the dishes under the tap quickly while brushing off food residue, then shut off the water.
- Use the sponge to wash the dishes – just leave them soapy
- Once they’re all done, run the tap and rinse everything quickly using a spray attachment.
- Voila – a whole sink of dishes washed and dried in a sanitary fashion using less than half a sink of water!
Reduce your electricity consumption by following these ten tips and, over the long run, your wallet will thank you and so will your poor, overworked electric grid!