Painless Power Savings Now

Plus A Free Memorial Day Weekend Meal!
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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Written by Brooke Wagner

Who doesn’t cringe when the power bill arrives in the mailbox during the dog days of Summer? That amount can get so high, every little bit makes a big difference.

For instance, did you know direct sunlight coming in through a window can raise the temperature of a room by 20 degrees? It’s clear — drawing the shades can keep things much cooler. Also save energy by turning off ceiling fans when you’re not in the room. They don’t actually cool the air.

I’ve often wondered if I’m using my programmable thermostat as efficiently as I could be. And if you turn off the air conditioning while you’re gone, do you deplete any energy savings when the air has to crank back up again?

Here’s a great article on that very question: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/03/21/do-programmable-thermostats-really-save-money

The gist of it is, you always save money when you turn off your air conditioner. Get Rich Slowly recommends keeping the thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re home, then turning it off while you’re away. Most important, whether you have a manual or programmable thermostat, don’t micromanage it. Those constant little tweaks that can cost you money.

Next, we all know that lovely, cool air can sneak right out of any little leak in our home … but how well insulated is your attic? Since heat rises, leaks in your attic door can suck in your power dollars.

And one more tip — keep electronics away from your thermostat. The heat they give off can send a false message for the system to cool things down. For a few other ways to save in the summer, check out this link: http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=24462394

Want to harness that unwanted heat? This blogger figured out how to bake cookies in her hot car. Here’s the link if you want to try it: http://bakingbites.com/2007/09/car-baked-chocolate-chip-cookies-step-by-step

Recoup some of that air conditioning cost with a virtually free meal at IKEA, Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28. Details here: http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/IKEA_Food/index.html

I can’t sign off without saying a huge thank you to all of our service members through the years, who’ve sacrificed for this nation. Let’s make them proud.

About The Blogger

- In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now. Tweet Brooke your ideas at @BrookeCBS4.

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