Let’s Save on Heating Costs! (A ‘HOW TO’) And Other Benefits of Turning Your Thermostat DOWN A Few Degrees in the Winter

Filed under :Energy, Saving....

Here we are – in the middle of January 2017.  This is usually the coldest time of the year for most of us in the U.S. and North America.  Today I would like to post some information about lowering your heating costs.  I know that most of us have heard that we need to turn our thermostat down in the winter time to save energy and money.  And, I definitely agree.

 But now let’s discuss a little more in depth about turning your thermostat down.  First, I would recommend that you purchase a programmable thermostat.  That way, you can set it and forget about it.   There are thermostats available that will allow you to program your desired temperature based on a weekly schedule.  So, when you are away at work you will not be heating the house and wasting energy and money.  The thermostat will also automatically lower the temperature when you are sleeping and then raise it a few degrees just before you wake up.  There are so many benefits to automating and controlling the temperature in your home that will pay for your investment in a short period of time.  But I’ll post more about the programmable thermostat in a later post.

Now let’s discuss some of the benefits of turning your thermostat down a few degrees.   The first benefit of course is lowering your heating costs.  You’ll consume and pay for less energy.  Tests have shown that you will see a difference in your utility bill if you lower your home’s temperature for just four hours a day.  That’s the equivalent to getting money deposited into your account!  According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s web site (http://www.eere.energy.gov)  you can save about 5 percent to 15 percent per year on your heating bill by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours (1% for each degree).  That is a significant cost savings for your family.   There are other estimates published that say you can save up to 3% per degree that you turn your thermostat down.

What about other benefits – other than heating costs?  Yes, there are other “hidden” benefits to turning your thermostat down!

  1. YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT!  Yes!  (I found this information at https://www.nationaldebtrelief.com/5-benefits-turning-thermostat-will-surprise/)  “Your energy expenditure increases as the temperature drops so you burn more calories or roughly 100 more a day. This increased energy can translate into an extra 3500 calories burned in just a few weeks. This means you would lose one pound.”  Now that’s a great benefit!
  2. YOU WILL SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT – You will get a much most restful night’s sleep with the temperature a few degrees cooler.
  3. EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER – yes!  If you drop the temperature in your home below 65 degrees, these large appliances will not have to work as hard to keep your food cold or frozen.
  4. HELP YOUR HOUSEPLANTS – yes, by dropping the temperature below 75 degrees, your houseplants will live longer thru the winter months.

So that’s a total of 5 great reasons to lower your thermostat during the winter months.    My next post will be focused on how to go about lowering your thermostat so that you can get the most benefit!  Stay tuned.

More Information on the Last LAUNDRY Post :-)

Filed under :INSIDE the Home, Laundry

I was asked a question about the amount of time I run my dryer before taking the laundry out and hanging to finish air drying.  I posted as a comment under my last post, but thought I would also share here as well.

I set my timer for about 10 minutes for a 3/4 load of laundry.  It’s going to be something that you’ll need to determine based on your specific dryer because they are all different models, different ages, etc.   You may want to start with 10 minutes for a 3/4 to full load and then adjust accordingly.  You want the laundry to be still very damp but also very warm to the touch when you remove it from the dryer.  It’s the tumbling and heating of the dryer that ensures when you hang the laundry that it will be soft after it has completed air drying.

Something else that I’d like to share with everyone is that I use a tennis ball in my dryer to help tumble the cloths around.  This does make them dry faster.   And yes, it will make a bit of a noise in your dryer – but to me the cost savings are worth it!  The tennis ball keeps the clothes from “clumping together” and just getting thrown from side to side in the dryer.  And if you clothes are moving and tossing around, and getting hot air all around, they will get to the drying stage that you are looking for much faster.  Something else that the tennis ball helps with is the amount of lint that is removed from your laundry.  In the washing phase, some fibers will break down and deposit on the top of the laundry items.  You need this agitation in the dryer to help remove the lint from the clothing and get it to the lint filter.   But it’s not just lint on your laundry that you are trying to remove – sometimes its strands of human hair or dog hair that has attached itself to your articles of clothing.  Using the tennis ball will help remove those from your clothing while it is tossing around.

The last thing you want to do is step on a tennis ball when you’re walking into the dark laundry room – so, I HIGHLY suggest that when you remove your laundry from the dryer, just toss the tennis ball back into the dryer and it will be ready for the next load.  Plus, it helps you not to lose it (hmm, sounds like I’m talking from experience there, doesn’t it?)

Revisiting the LAUNDRY!

Filed under :INSIDE the Home, Laundry

Back on August 28th, 2016, I wrote an article entitled “Save Money & Extend the Life of Your Clothes”   In this article I talked a good deal about how so many Americans use their clothes dryers for drying ALL of their clothes and how this can make your clothes wear out so much faster.  Go back and read the article – it’s very interesting and I think you’ll get a lot from it.

But – here we are – in the dead of winter in January 2016 and this weekend it’s been RAIN, SLEET, and SNOW even in the deep South!  It rained all day yesterday and the temperature started dropping!  So, as I’m waking up this morning, it’s 27 degrees F outside and feels like 14 degrees F.  I hope the dog doesn’t want to go out any time soon 🙂

Last night before I went to bed, I washed a load of white clothes – mainly towels.  Needless to say, I will not be hanging clothes out to dry this morning!  But, all is not lost – because, I have something really cool to share with you.  This will be a little tip that I think you’re going to like a lot.

How many times have you been in a hurry for a certain piece of clothing to dry?  You make several trips back and forth to the dryer and you end up removing the item from the dryer before the dryer has completed its cycle.  AND, the item is actually already dry.  The fact is, sometimes the dryer can continue even 10 minutes or longer after all of the items are dry.  This is definitely a waste of electricity and, can affect the life of your dryer.  So – what I’m going to share with you will save you $$$ and save your dryer.

This morning when I woke up, I transferred my white clothes from the washer to the dryer and started the dry cycle.  Then, I went into the kitchen and set the timer on the stove for 10 minutes.  When my timer went off, I stopped the dryer and removed the items.  Now, they were not completely dry, but they were still damp.  I then hung them in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room.  I have a fan blowing on them and they will finish drying in just a fairly short period of time.  Best of all – the towels will not be hard and stiff when they have finished drying.  They will be soft – just like they were completely dried in my electric dryer!  That saves a good deal of electricity on our monthly bill.  If you consistently do this with all of your laundry, you can really notice the savings!

Now, you’re probably asking what I used to hang these towels up so I could air dry them.  Well, I’ve found these awesome clothes hanger on Amazon that have clips on them (see pic below).  As of this writing, they are available on Amazon Prime – an 18 pack for $11.49 – so that’s even less than a dollar a hanger.  They work quite well to hang up one towel per hanger.

I have also included a link for the regular plastic clothes hangers I use for clothing items – they are also available on Amazon Prime – as of the date of this article they are priced at $11.71 for a pack of 18 hangers.

For my washcloths, I usually just drape the cloth over the middle part of the hanger in between the clips.  There is another item that I have in my “wish list” on Amazon.   This hanger would be really good for small laundry items such as underwear or even washcloths.  It has 26 clips on it and takes up just a minimal amount of space.

Please comment below – I’d love to hear some of your suggestions for being frugal and saving money on laundry costs.