10 Inexpensive Tips to Save Electricity

In Canada, it is not an overstatement to say that finding ways to save electricity hass become a national obsession. This is because electricity is the one utility bill that can be largely controlled by the user, unlike heating fuels that are needed mainly in the cold, Canadian winter. Just by following some easy guidelines even the utility bills from homes with electric heat can be kept cozy without a great outlay of money.
Many people think that they can have cheap electrical power by buying thousands of dollars of electrical generating devices to replace the power that comes through utility lines. However, the best way to save electricity is not to use it in the first place.
Another popular misconception is that curbing energy use means giving up heat and a normal lifestyle. Nothing could be more exaggerated than this way of thinking. In fact, saving electricity just requires thinking in a different way about how it is used. A few small changes can add up to hundreds of dollars on the yearly electrical power bill.
1. Phantom Power Bleeding
In the days when televisions relied on vacuum tubes it took almost five minutes for the set to become completely operational. This was because diodes and the picture tube needed to ‘;warm up.’; To speed up the process the tubes were kept warm by a trickle of electricity, a unique feature called ‘;instant on.’; Transistors changed this to some degree but the cathode ray tube and indicator lights still drew a minute amount of power. Today, many digital devices in the home remain plugged in when not needed. Computers, televisions, battery chargers and many other devices draw minute amounts of electricity that can amount to almost hundred dollars a year in an average home. So, hook your devices to a power bar and switch this off when the devices are not in use.
2. LED Lights
It was only a few years ago that CFL’s, compact fluorescent lights, brought to a close the hundred-year rule of the traditional incandescent light bulb. In less than four years from now LED’s, light emitting diodes, will overtake CFI’s to become the primary lighting source. LED’s use a minute amount of power and can be run on very low voltage systems.
3. Buy Electricity in Off-Peak Hours
In many Canadian cities the hours between 7:00am and 11:00pm is when the majority of electricity is being consumed. During the other eight hours the use is low so the cost drops as much as 40%. A time-of-use system supports an ETS, electric storage system, where electric heat is stored in ceramic blocks during the low-rate period. When the power rate goes up the heating system shuts off and the stored heat is released from the bricks by a small fan and warms the home. The water tank can also be heated during the low period.
4. Leaking Taps
Another big waste of money in an electrically-heated water tank is leaking hot water taps. In fact leaky washers can drain hundreds of dollars in wasted electricity. Replacing washers for taps costs pennies a piece and corroded tap cartridges can be bought for $7-$14.
5. Lights in Motion
Security lights are another big drain for electricity. This is because many homes will have night lights on in their yard all night. There is a light system that emits a dim light when dusk comes and then switches to bright when the sensor detects motion. The property is lit for both security and navigating at night but also provides a bright light only when needed.
6. Wash in Cold Water
The new detergents are so thorough that washing in hot water is a thing of the past. This could save hundreds of dollars in a year.
7. Clothes Lines
Clothes dryers are a big drain on electricity. Years ago almost everyone dried their clothes on a clothesline in the yard. Today there are many types of clotheslines that can be mounted both inside and out of the house. Drying just half the clothes on clotheslines will save over a hundred dollars in electricity annually.
8. Plugging Holes
Older homes have dozens of small leaks to the outdoors because of both wood shrinkage and deteriorated caulking around windows, doors and utility lien inlets. Re-caulking these areas will save money for those with electric heat. The rewards are paid back within a winter in energy savings. Also, replace weather stripping on doors and windows.
9. Solar-Powered Lights
Both interior and exterior nights can be changed over to solar-powered LED lights for safety and night navigation. They are low voltage and the batteries for these lights can be recharged with solar energy during the day or run off a low trickle of electricity. They can also be mounted under the kitchen cabinets and over islands.
10. Hot Water Tank Jacket
For less than $50 the hot water tank can get an overcoat to keep it doubly warm. This means that the water will stay at peak temperature longer and that the heating element will not kick in as often.

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