$56 electric bill finale

What a beautiful morning!  Cool and crisp with a light breeze and the sun shining.  It feels like fall and it is early spring.  Things are winding down on what was keeping me occupied and a little depressed.  I love coming back into my own life and routines. 

We went looking for refrigerators this weekend and on Tuesday my very first brand new side by side refrigerator is going to be installed.  It has the ice and water in the door.  I know everybody has had one, but not me.  I had a very old side by side when we first got married because I inherited it.  It was this really ugly brown with no water or ice in the door.  The new one is an LG in stainless. It is 26.5 cubic feet!  The old one is I don’t know what kind and so small it is incredible. I will post pictures of how full mine is once the new one is here.  I just can’t wait! 

This morning I really want to discuss the final way we saved and are saving on our electric bill.   Chris has been researching solar.  Me, I prefer wind, but in our area it is a very long process to get approval for a windmill to be put in your backyard.  It also seems to cost a lot more to get started for the energy you get.

To begin there are 2 kinds of solar panels.  One is a poly and one is a mono.  I don’t exactly remember the rest of the name, but these are the most important part of the words.  The poly solar panel is able to recharge in the shade with just a little light.  An example of this is the outside solar lights.  This sounds wonderful, but it is not as efficient as the mono.  The mono solar panel only converts energy when  the sun is shining.  It just doesn’t work in the shade.  It is much more efficient than the Poly. 

3 different styles of panels.

The first group of panels on the left were part of a kit from Harbor Freight. It is 45 amps.  It is a poly solar panel group.  The middle one and the 2 on the right are mono solar panels.  Chris ordered the rest from Amazon.com.  Now I don’t really know how this all works, but there are 4 marine batteries under the left solar panel group.  We still need one more battery.  All I cared is that it powers my box fan all night long on medium.  Chris and our Grand daughter’s built this fencing around it.   The panels are facing south as they will get the most sun for the longest time.  The converter is in a box behind the batteries and needs turned on/off.  They have converters that are operated by remote.  I believe that is next on Chris’ list of things to get.  The converter needs to be very close to the solar panels or you will lose power.  The converter does use power as it has a fan to keep it cool and a little green light that tells us it is on.

We have an extension cord that is now under ground in PVC tubing so that it is not messy looking.  We do not have this hooked up to our in home grid.  We use an extension cord that is coming through the bedroom window as the majority of our energy usage in that room is by the solar panels.  I also use this to vacuum the house.  I am hoping Chris will add a few more panels and we can use this for more than one room. 

The original goal was for it to power my convection oven.  That is a goal we are working towards.

Chris with Amber & Kaylea

Amber helping Chris with the boards with Kaylea

I have been telling you what we do on a daily basis in the last few posts so I thought  I would give you an idea of my am and pm routines.  These are mine and the way we are doing it.  You can take your own ideas and improve them or add to your own way of doing the energy saving way to do it.  I’d love to hear what you think!

AM                                                                                                         PM
1.       Unplug fan from solar                                                                    Plug fan into solar plug
2.       Take solar light outside                                                                  Bring solar lights inside
3.       Turn off computers and green switch                                     Turn on computers and green switch
4.       Turn on TV and green switch                                                      Turn off TV and remote
5.       Turn on breaker for water heater                                             Turn off water heater
6.       Turn off outside lights                                                                    Turn on outside lights
7.       Turn off converter to solar for recharge                                 Turn on solar converter for night
       Make sure all appliances are unplugged

I don’t really talk about the green side of this.  This is not on purpose I have been focusing on the money saving aspects of what we have been doing.  I really believe in saving energy, recycling, and using alternative cleaning supplies.  There are many reasons for this. I believe that God has provided us a beautiful earth and it is our responsibility to take care of it.  I don’t go over board in my opinion.  I think humankind must make responsible decisions that is best for both the environment and mankind.  I think it can be done without being nuts about it.  I have focused on the money saving aspect because it is what motivates most of us.   This all started in our lives for that very reason.  I lost my job and we had made a very poor investment.  We found we needed to get back to basics and here we are.

My advice to you is to start with the easy stuff.  Make sure all windows and doors are insulated with no air leaks.  Make sure you have proper insulation in your attic and walls.  The more you seal the less air comes in and the less air goes out.  Then think about the heating and air conditioning. Check your ducts!  We found that one of our ducts was completely off of the vent and we were running the air conditioner constantly and with a brand new air conditioner that was terrible.  Replace your light bulbs, add the green switches and unplug appliances that are not needed constantly.  Or just unplug at night.  The rest of the stuff you can decide how to really do what you want when you want. 

I hope I have given you lots of ideas to have a creative living life!   Please share your ideas with me!!!!

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