i don't know about you but i live in the north eastern united states and i pay out my rear end for electricity and got tired of it. so a few tips that you may or may not have thought about to help cut down on the power and heating bills and make the power company cry. (bastards)
Step 1: Loose Those Stupid Lights.
i have a big problem with lights. my roomate used to come home and turn on the portch light, the hall light, the light at the top of the hall, the light in the living room, the light in his room, the light in the kitchen, and the light in the bathroom and leave them on. yea. so what i do now that my roomate is gone... i got rid of the stupid low efficency lights. and
i have replaced all the lights in my apartment with energy efficent bulbs and only turn the lights on in the room im in.
most of the lights are in cealing fans witch have 4 sockets and they had 4 100w bulbs in them. i dont need day light in my room i just need enough to see. so i took out 3 of the bulbs and put 1 high efficency 40w bulb.
also my roomate used to close his curtains and turn the lights on mid day. and turn lights on in the bathroom mid day. theres no fricken reason to do that unless its dark.
Step 2: Doors
doors are killers for heating. close the closet doors, the pantry, the bathroom, the old roommate's room that's not being used and any other area that's not being used. honestly you don't need to heat your closet.
draft guards are your friends. there inexpensive and greatly help keeping the heat where you want it. if your don't want to buy draft guards you can use a rolled up towel. it works almost as good. you just have to re position it after.
some weather stripping can go around the door too not just under it . and don't forget the mostly over looked top of the door that's right heat gets out there too.
Step 3: Windows
don't have thermal windows well there's still ways to keep the heat in. curtains are a good start they keep a good amount of heat in. that's curtains, not blinds or shades.
using caulking cord is an inexpensive way to stop drafts around old windows
not just for doors, weather stripping is good for windows too the advantage is you can still open the window but the caulking cord seals the best.
Step 4: If Your Not Using It Turn It Off
if your not using something turn it off. how about the entertainment system in your living room. ya you know the one on the other side of your place that is on right now with no one watching it. or take it a step further. OK the TV is off but every thing is still plugged in right, well how often do you actually use it if your like me i have a TV in my room with my PC so im never in the living room. so switch the power bar off and when you actually want to use it turn it back on. you might think "ok what is that gona save me a dollar total a month" well its probably more but this is about saving money use your noggen im sure you can look around your place and find all sorts of little things to save a buck or two. and a buck here and a buck there starts to add up.
Step 5: Heating Options
when choosing how to heat your place consider all the options available.
natural gas forced air heating
my parents have this its not bad but not great and the air really gets dry to the point where we had to put a humidifier in.
radiator heat usually works off gas or oil and are more efficiency than forced air or electric but have higher maintenance costs.
electric baseboard is small and has relatively low maintenance but are more expensive to run.
electric space heater
electric space heaters are very inefficient unless your heating a small space like one room only. there cheep to buy but expensive to run.
pellet stoves are cool the fule they use is saw dust leftover mainly from manufacturing that is pressed into a pellet no glue no chemicals just sawdust and pressure. when they first came out i was going to buy one but i couldn't afford one.
now they are gaining in popularity so fast that the demand for pellets has gone through the roof
i can get 1 ton of pellets for around $350 ish. not bad but the price for pellets continues to rise so not for me.
Step 6: Things I Would Love to Do
if only i could afford it. i want to put solar panels in even if i use more power than they put out its a little less money spent. another idea is the fiber optic lighting. my place is dark even with the windows open in the day. they make a unit that delivers the natural sunlight collected from a mirror about the size of a satellite dish"the new age ones not the old hot tub sized ones" mounted on your roof via fiber optic cables that will light 1000 square ft of floor space. that's my entire apartment. more info on that here http://www.sunlight-direct.com/ and there's more but that's for another time. so i hope this saves you a little cash. happy saving.
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