Winding down on suggestions to save electricity!

The series on our electric bill is winding down, only one more to go as of today.  My posts are going to be a little sporadic for a time.  I have a project that has to be completed and I am the only one able to complete it.  I try to write these a day ahead as I write early in the am. and my head is a little foggy.  Please excuse the mess as they say!  :0

Before I get started I want to say that it takes work, planning, and unity in the house to make the cuts we have made.  I also need to tell you we are not perfect.  Just last night we went to bed without shutting the computer off and the power strip attached.  We also forgot to shut off the Wii.  My husband was the last one up so technically it was his fault.  We won’t blame him, but you notice it wasn’t me?  We both make mistakes.  I can turn the water heater on and forget it was turned on for an entire day without remembering to use it.  I will give you a breakdown of my morning and nightly routines on the next post.  This way you can see what you are willing to attempt or how you can change it to fit your lifestyle.
We discussed many things we wanted to do to lower our electric bill.  We made a conscience decision to not draw attention to the house or make changes that could be seen from the front.  We have window boxes in the front.  We just wanted the house to look “normal”.  
We discussed purchasing a window A/C for months.  We already have central air, but central air is much more expensive than having a couple window air conditioners in our home.  We live in Central Florida on the east coast.  We use the A/C bunches.  I open all windows in the am most mornings unless the thermostat already reads 79 or 80 degrees.  Once the inside temperature gets to 80 – 81 I close all windows and turn on the A/C.  Chris works nights right now and that can make for a very hot time sleeping, but decently comfortable for me in the rest of the house.

We purchased a room size window A/C unit for the Master Bedroom.  We set the temperature to 78 on the A/C in the bedroom and keep the rest of the house at the warmer temperature.  During the summer we set the daytime temperature to 80-81 in the house and the nighttime temperature to 77.  Now that we are using the new window unit, we can keep the house at the same daytime temperature and make the nighttime temperature to 82 – 83.   We are considering purchasing a dehumidifier to combat mold as the humidity in Florida can cause mold to grow like crazy!  To clarify, the window A/C is only on when we sleep until this summer when we will use it to supplement the central air.  We will be watching our electric usage to verify if this will save us money.

Those of you who know me well or read my posts know I love to bake, but baking in 90 degree heat can be a sweaty prospect.  The oven takes energy to heat up, it also can heat the house up.  My idea was to put the stove outside in the garage so I can bake, but that takes an electrician installing a plug for the stove and purchasing  a new stove.  This is just a little to pricey at this time.  Besides, I desperately need a new refrigerator, not a stove.  This led us to a small convection oven.  We found one at Wal Mart for $59.  We researched the model online and found so many great reviews it was pretty cool.  We purchased it and fell in love.  I don’t use the Rotisserie attachment as I really didn’t like the outcome.  The chicken wasn’t moist and tender as when using the grill.  The oven itself though works amazingly.  It does take some time to adjust your recipes to it.  I tend to want to see “browning” and you can’t expect the beautiful browning effect on many things like the oven does, but if you save the big oven for the things that need to look special or are to big for the convection oven you will save a lot of money!
I mentioned in my last post how I vacuumed for free the other day.  Want to know how?  We have solar panels set up in our back yard!  The next post will go into the solar panels.  We could use some feed back from you all as to how these ideas worked for you and how you choose to be Creative living!
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