Energy Diet: Four Steps to Use Less Energy
Energy Star raised the idea of an energy diet this week, explaining that kilowatt-hours are the “pounds” of your electric bill. So if you can reduce your kilowatt-hour usage, you’re dropping weight, so to say.
Problem is most people don’t know how many kilowatt-hours they’re using each month in their home. Here are a few ways to find that information. Look at your CPS Energy bill. You will see a bar graph explaining how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you’ve used each month for the past year. There’s also a standard chart showing your kWh usage this month, last month and your usage at this time one year ago. If you need something to base your results on, CPS Energy says the average home uses about 1,500 kWh per month.
Now let’s discuss some ways to drop that energy weight. Here are four simple steps from Champion AC to use less energy in your home.
- Set your thermostat: If you have a programmable thermostat, take advantage of it. Set your thermostat to 78 when you’re home and turn it up a bit when you leave. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, get in the habit of turning the temperature up before you walk out the door.
- Change your air filter: Change your filter at least once a month during peak cooling and heating months. Otherwise, change it every 2-3 months. This keeps your air conditioner running efficiently.
- Turn off lights: When you leave a room, turn off the lights. This is a great lesson to share with your family as well. Involving your kids in turning off lights in rooms that aren’t being used can make a big difference.
- Turn off ceiling fans when you leave: Let me be clear – using ceiling fans is a great way to save energy. They help people feel cooler by circulating air in a room, meaning you don’t have to crank down the AC as much. But ceiling fans don’t lower the temperature in a room, so there’s no reason to leave them on when you’re not there.