5 ways to cut your power bills

Going green and making a lesser impact on the planet is all over the media these days. For a homeowner, one of the biggest reasons to conserve is simple, you'll save money. Las Vegas has very mild winters but during the summer months, temperatures can rise upwards of 120 degrees. That translates into large electric for about five months out of the year. There are some things you can due to cut your utility bills, while reducing your carbon foot print.

  1. Plant a shade tree. Having your home in shade during the day will greatly reduce your power bill. The ambient temperature in the shade is about ten degrees cooler. This translates into big savings with a minimal impact on your own finances, not to mention that trees convert carbon dioxide into breathable air. So its great for the environment and your wallet.
  2. Change air filters. This is the cheapest and easiest thing to do to reduce your electric bill. Change your air filters at least once a month, if not more. If the filters are getting very dirty, its restricting the air flow through your A/C unit, causing it work harder and use more power. By keeping clean filters, it will let the unit run without having to work as hard and it will extend the life of your air conditioner.
  3. Solar screens. Solar screens can reduce the inside temperature of your house by five or more degrees in the summer. There are companies that will install them for you, but it can get a little pricey. If you are a do it yourselfer, you can buy the material from any Lowes or Home Depot and install them yourself for a fraction of the cost of a professional.
  4. Weatherstripping. The summer heat takes a toll on weather stripping. Simply replacing old cracked and worn stripping with new can reduce the amount of hot air seeming into your home in the summer. A side benefit being that you will have to dust less as well, making it easier to keep a clean home.  Its also important to make sure the inside is also properly insulated, including light switches, garage doors and attic entries.
  5. Replace standard light bulbs. This one is a no brainer, especially with all of the media attention. Compact Florescent light bulbs use a fraction of the power compared to a standard bulb. There is an even better alternative to CFL bulbs, LED lights. They use even less power, have an average life span of ten years and can be installed in most standard outlets.

Other tips for saving on utility bills:

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