5 Quick Tips to Save Money on Your Electric Bill

By: HelenaJa
“I just don’t understand them! Everyday I’m telling the boys, ‘Turn off the a/c when you leave the room’ They just don’t listen! Last month our bill was almost $300!" She threw her hands up in complete exasperation.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common complaints. Kids want to do the right thing, but without an understanding of why this so important, it will not be the first thing that pops in their minds.

I live in Thailand were air conditioners are as necessary as bottled water. Here we have 360 days of hot, sticky weather and we are truly grateful to the Cooling Gods.

However, as the days get hotter, more people are demanding comfort. The CFCs from air conditioners are pollutants that destroy the ozone molecules. This thins the ozone layer allowing more ultraviolet (UV) rays to enter our atmosphere. This is what causes global warming. This extra heat creates more demand for a/c!

Now, I’m not suggesting throwing out your air conditioners or making them illegal and banning them from Earth forever…well…No, but there are a few things you and your family can do to help save the world and teach kids how to save money on electric.

• Compliment your cooling needs with ceiling fans and/or floor fans. This will distribute and help circulate the cooler air more efficiently.

• Clean the filters and coils once a month. If air is blocked from dust that gets collected, the unit can’t breathe. This makes it work harder. Here’s a helpful reminder: whenever the electric bill comes make that the day to clean or change your filters and spray the coils.

• The best air conditioners are those that fit your room. A unit that's too small for the area will work too hard, never feel cool enough, and will skyrocket your electric bill!

• Consider Energy-Star rated units. A 5-rating is the most energy-efficient.

• So, how to get the kids to help? Get them involved. Have them check out global warming and its effects to their planet. Make it a family project and support their ideas. Let them know they can be action heroes whenever they take small steps to create a better world.

I’m very lucky to teach high school science in Bangkok. I assigned a science project for their final grade. The students had to research and create Power Point presentations about global warming.

One day, while working in my office, two of my students came in to chat. One student reminded me that if I keep the curtains closed it will keep the sun out and then I wouldn’t need to use so much air conditioning. They quickly closed the curtains, changed the a/c temperature and bowed with respect as they left. All I could do is smile.
Home Improvement
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