Boy were we shocked when we got our ﬁrst energy bill in the winter of 2010! Turns out, trying to keep a drafty house warm is a rather expensive endeavor (and, as you may recall, our ﬂoors aren’t insulated). We have been engaged in a number of experiments to keep energy costs down and the task recently became much easier when we signed up for Entergy’s In-Home Display pilot program. We now have a small meter that lets us know when we have spikes in energy consumption (driven, not surprisingly, by HVAC dependency).
We’ve had to adjust our expectations when it comes to comfort level: no longer do we submit to the standard operating temperature of 68 degrees, year round. In the winter, we get used to being a little more chilly and keep the house at around 65 degrees (and supplement with a space heater as needed). In the summer, we get used to being a little more warm and keep the house at around 78 degrees (and ditch the down comforter).
We also follow these useful tips:
- Keep TV, stereo, DVD player and gaming devices plugged into one power strip and turn the power strip on and off with use (you may be familiar with the term “vampire appliances”).
- Routinely change air ﬁlters.
- Adjust water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
What are some ways you stay comfortable and save energy at the same time? Cooling season is upon us! Send me your suggestions and I’ll follow up with the next Monthly Spectator!