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Question DetailsAsked on 6/1/2011

Beating (or fighting) the high cost of energy

Anyone have any good energy saving tips for winter? Hopefully not the same old weaterstripping advice; I'm looking for unique hints.

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8 Answers


Well, we have a geothermal system, so we didn't get hit by any of the rising energy costs. Even so, we take steps to conserve. We've turned up the thermostat and pull the curtains closed to block the sunlight during the day. We keep a pretty close eye on the weather too. When the temperature drops to our thermo setting, we open all the windows. Also, our unit is in the basement where it stays pretty cool year around, so I leave the furnace fan on all of time to circulate the cool air downstairs w/ that above ground. It all works out pretty well and in the end we pay about $20/wk to keep the entire house at 73-76F throughout the summer. If your funace/AC is getting long in the tooth, check out the list and find someone to talk to about a geothermal system. With energy costs right now, I figure I'll save enough to pay for the entire system in about 8 years (of course, prices are going up and up, so it'll be paid for long before then).

Answered 9 years ago by fuzzybunnies


I recommend a Wood Burning Stove fireplace insert. We can heat our entire house with our Lopi fireplace insert. It's not the most efficient on the market, but it does a great job in our house and it looks manly. Go for one with a blower fan for maximum heat output.

Answered 9 years ago by MichaelL


There's still a couple of problems w/ a fireplace insert (or a wood stove). First being that you have to find some wood. Around here in the heartland, it's realitively easy to come by (call a tree trimming company and your local power company and ask them for it), but in urban areas, it's a bit more difficult to find. Second, you'll need to store the firewood. Inserts and large stoves require *a lot* of fuel in order to use them as a primary heating source. Third, unless you have purchased a stove that implements a "double burn", you're going to be releasing a lot of pollution into the atmosphere (how much do you like your neighbors). After those, you've got chimney maintenance (don't want any chimney fires) and the entire house (and everything in it) smelling like woodsmoke. Of course, if you're trying to save money, have access to the wood, don't mind smoking out your neighbors, and have no problems w/ pollution, a wood stove or fireplace insert may be a pretty good option.

Answered 9 years ago by fuzzybunnies


I'm getting 80% new windows and adding eight inches of insulation. I also got a new storm door. I keep the house at 60 all winter and don't use air conditioning so that's about all I can think of.

Answered 9 years ago by Kasandra


I received an electric bill for $575.00 for July and had a heart attack! Our wonderful politicians allowed a 73percent increase in our electric rates.

Since I just bought the house from the divorce settlement - I can't move! So I replaced 7 light fixtures with energy savers. I turned off the outside lights for the summer months. I close up all the windows during the day and keep off all non-essential electric items unpluged. NO hairdryers, washers, dryers etc. and I ordered a new air conditioning whole house unit which will be in soon. All light fixtures are enery efficient. Next? Dishwasher and Refrigerator.

Answered 9 years ago by callieb


It's been a two year project. We live in Phoenix in a nine-year old home. Two years ago our power bill was $173.00/month with the utilities monthly average payment option. First, the seven year old air conditioner, which was showing signs of dying in late May, was replaced with a Trane XLi 19 (the 19 SEER unit), new air handler and new furnace. That cost $8,000.00, but comes with a complete 10 year guarantee. The HVAC company had guessed I was getting about a 7-8 SEER from the old pile of junk, so that made a huge difference. This year we replaced all the windows and the patio doors that were poor-quality dual pane that was leaking badly. All new vinyl windows and a new patio door (w/argon gas and Low E coatings that come with a complete double lifetime warrany) for a price of about $4,500.00. Next, all new upgraded appliances that are all Energy Star rated. About $6,000.00. Finally, all lights replaced with florescient fixtures, lamps or bulbs.

The bottom line is that the power bill has dropped from $173.00 mo. to $83.00 mo. The liveability of the house, as well as it's resale value, have greatly increased. There were tax credits that have been, or are-to-be, applied that reduce the net expenditures. There is one thing that I do that helps a lot but other folks may not be willing to do and that is to set the thermostat to 85 degrees in the summer. At night it goes down to 81. Remember that it is usually fairly dry here in Phoenix and that it is far easier to take higher temperatures then in other areas of the country.

One last parting thought. It is the old axiom that you can pay now or you can pay later. Energy bills do not return any long term value to the house or your life Once the money is spent it is gone and has no residual value. However, upgrading saves money and increases both the enjoyment and the value of the home. So it isn't a strict apples-to-apples comparison of the costs of upgrading vs. the cost of the energy bills.

Answered 9 years ago by John18


In my area (south Florida) they have been running ads on TV telling people how to save on their electric bills. One of the messages is that if you turn off a fan you will save $7. a month. This sounds very high to me. Are they saying that if I have 5 ceiling fans running 7 days a week for 24 hours a day that these 5 fans are costing me $40. a month to run?

Answered 9 years ago by SamanthaFL


In most climates, adding loose insulation is the cheapest and most effective way to save on power bills.

Energy naturally wants tospread out evenly, which is why heat will move from a warmer place to a coolerplace. In the winter, heat will move from your heated home to the outside. Inthe summer, heat will move from outside into your house. Adding insulationreduces the amount of heating or cooling energy your home needs to maintain acomfortable temperature by acting as resistance to the flow of heat. The atticis the easiest and most cost-effective place to add insulation because it hasan access hatch, unlike your sealed up walls and floors. Upgrading yourinsulation will reduce your utility bills by 10% to 30%. Yoursavings depend on your particular home. Because one-story homes have largerattics, they will be on the higher end of the savings spectrum.

Answered 8 years ago by Insulationspecialist

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