This is my favorite area of discussion. I live in Arizona, where electric bills in summer usually run between $150 and $300 per month. These are the steps I have taken to reduce my energy consumption:
•I changed all high-use lights to compact fluorescent bulbs. This required 14 bulbs altogether, at an average cost of $8 per bulb. (You can get these super-long-life, high-efficiency bulbs for $4 to $5 each at www.betterbulbsdirect.com.— MOTHER)
•I switched to hand-washing my dishes rather than using the dishwasher, except for once a week. This also saves on my water bills.
•I turn up my thermostat to 83 to 85 degrees during the hottest part of the day and spend most of that time in our basement family room or somewhere like the library, museum, etc.
•I hang my clothes out to dry, completely eliminating the clothes dryer. For clothes that cannot be hung outside, I hang them on a rod in the laundry room.
•Lastly, I made window blankets for my east and south windows from fabric and a heat-reflective material. These help keep the room much cooler. These blankets can also be used in the winter. Simply face the reflective material into the house, rather than toward the window.
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