Simple Tips To Save Money on the Garden Island
Kauai residents are blessed to live in paradise, yet they also pay more for many necessary items such as food, gas, and electricity. While it is often hard to lower your food and gas costs, most people could significantly lower their Kauai electricity bill by making some simple changes that will result in a lower monthly bill.
Tips to Lower your Kauai Electricity Bill:
If you have one or more air conditioners then make sure to fine tune this equipment and always keep the filters clean. You may want to clean the filters every two weeks, or more often if you live in an area that is particularly dusty.
Also make sure you have the right size air conditioning unit for the space that is being cooled. If your home has a thermostat then program it so that it turns off at the times of day when you are usually gone (e.g., during your work hours).
Caulking and Sealing
Make sure all of the home’s seals are in tact. Small cracks in door and window frames can be a source of leaks. Properly applied caulking, and in some areas weather-stripping, will ensure the home is well-sealed and can make up to a 20% difference in energy efficiency.
During the times of day when the temperature is the hottest, avoid doing any tasks that generate heat such as using the dishwasher, oven, or clothes dryer which create more work for the air conditioner.
Look for incentives on energy saving appliances. A thirty percent federal tax credit available on qualifying central air conditioning units until the end of 2010 and allow you to offset the unit cost including installation for up to $1500. This makes it cheaper upfront, and then the real savings come in the longer term with reduced electricity bills.
If you have an old refrigerator this may be one of your biggest energy drains. Any refrigerator older than 1992 will surely be very wasteful in terms of electricity, and later models also may be high energy users.
For sale today are many refrigerators that are significantly more energy efficient and may cost just one-third of the what an older model costs to run. Replacing an old refrigerator with a newer energy efficient model can save you as much as $300 a year on your Kauai electricity bill.
Check the Seals
If your refrigerator isn’t new then check the door seals to make sure they are airtight. You can do this by closing the door on a piece of paper and see how hard it is to pull the paper out. If it is too easy then you need to either adjust your door latch or replace the seal.
Another electricity-saving tip in regards to refrigerators and freezers is to make sure that there is sufficient space around the refrigerator for air flow including around the condenser coils. Better air flow increases the appliances energy efficiency.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Swap out old light bulbs for newer energy efficient light bulbs. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs not only saves energy but also generates less heat, which may result in savings on air conditioning energy consumption.
A CFL typically uses about 75% less energy and lasts ten times as long as a standard incandescent bulb. Every CFL replacing an old bulb could save you more than $15 per year and that takes into account the higher cost of the bulb.
Insulated window treatments along with curtains or shades are great for keeping a room cooler, particularly on west and south facing windows.
Consider Fans Instead of Air Conditioning
Try using a fan rather than running the air conditioning if it isn’t too hot out. Open the windows and let the Kauai tradewinds cool the home. A well-placed fan will make you feel a good three or four degrees cooler and uses much less energy than air conditioning.
Consider An Energy Efficient Water Heater
One way many Kauai residents could lower their electricity bill significantly is to replace their older water heater with a newer more energy-efficient model with thick insulation, better heating element placement, and other energy-saving features.
You may also consider the option of installing a solar water heater. While this takes significant up-front costs that will cost you more in the short term, there are incentives available and in the long run the cost savings will be significant, especially if electricity costs continue to rise.
Use the Hibernate or Sleep Functions on Your Computer
Many people consume more electricity with their computer when they are not using than when they are because they leave it on for long periods of time when it is not being used. Use the sleep or hibernate function to save electricity.
Unplug Devices that Drain Power When Not Being Used
Microwaves, cell phone chargers, and many other electric devices drain power whenever they are plugged in, even if they are not being used. They also generate heat. These devices may account for more than five percent of Kauai residential electricity use.
Always leave these types of electric devices plugged into a power strip, and then just turn off the power strip whenever you are not using the device. You can also get a Smart Strip Power Strip that automatically stops the energy flow to appliances that have been turned off.
Top Users of Electricity
Traditionally the top energy users in a home are air conditioning, refrigeration, water heating, lighting, and home entertainment devices. Swimming pool pumps and hot tubs/spas are also big energy users.
Focus on conserving energy on all of these items. With a little effort and some smart choices you can significantly reduce your monthly Kauai electricity bill and also lessen your overall environmental impact on the Garden Island.