Reduce Debt By Saving Money on Electricity

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Reduce Debt By Saving Money on Electricity

By Kathy Burns-Millyard

One of the best ways to reduce existing debts, is to pay extra on those debts each and every month. Most Americans with large amounts of debt however, believe they don’t have a dime to spare for paying extra. It may be easier than you think though. There are a myriad of ways to save money every day, but this article will concentrate on how to save money with one of your most expensive household utilities: Electricity.

Tips on Reducing Your Electric Bill:

1. Plant trees around your home. Trees are particularly useful, because they provide the most shade. You’ll want to place the trees to provide the best amount of shade for large windows, and large sections of your roof. Planting trees alone can reduce the temperature by as much as 20 degrees. Creating this reduction in temperature around your house allows your cooling system to not work as hard, and this saves money on the bill.

Trees which shed their leaves in winter are the best investment, because they allow the sun in during winter. This allows your heating system to not work as hard, because the sun provides additional warmth naturally. The trees will also help reduce wind hitting your house, again helping your heating system to do it’s job.

2. Clean your appliances. This may seem like a given for many, but I’m not talking about normal cleaning. Your refridgerator has coils on the back, and these get quite dusty and dirty. The more dirt that’s built up, the harder the fridge has to work – and the more energy it uses. So clean the coils thouroughly at least twice a year. This will help reduce your electric bill and also increase the life of your fridge too.

Next you need to clean your air conditioner. Or the filter in it rather. Most cooling units have filters in them that collect dust, dirt and grime throughout the year. These need to be cleaned no less than once each year, but twice is better. If you live in a very dusty area, you’ll need to clean the filters once a month during the hot season.

The third major appliance that needs to be cleaned is your furnace, or heating unit. These also tend to have filters, and those filters also need to be cleaned regularly. Cleaning this one at the start of the cold season is good, but cleaning it at least twice a year is better.

3. Unplug small appliances. Many people don’t realize that small appliances can use electricity even when they’re not in use. Modern coffee pots and microwaves are great examples: They have a digital clock display that’s on all the time. By unplugging some or all of your smaller appliances, you can reduce the amount of overall electricity being used in your home most hours of the day.

4. Adjust your thermostat. By placing your cooling unit at 72 or higher, and your heating unit at 68 or lower, you can cut the cost of your electricity by as much as 30% each year. Additionally: Adjust the thermostats when you’re not home – before you go to work for instance, or before leaving for vacation.

5. Spend more on light bulbs. Replacing your standard light bulbs with energy efficient ones can also drastically reduce your overall electricity costs. It seems more expensive to pay $5 for a bulb or two instead of $1, but you save much more money in the long run. Because not only do these special bulbs use less energy: They also last much longer too!

So, start saving money on your electric bill today, and start putting that money towards paying off those awful debts instead.

© 2006, Kathy Burns-Millyard. More About Reducing Debt: For a free guide to managing, reducing and eliminating your worst debts, please visit

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