Money Wise--Saving Energy with Electricity - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/30/04

Money Wise--Saving Energy with Electricity

One thing you can count on every month is the electric bill. But did you know there are some things you can do to keep from shelling out so much, especially in the summer months? We've got some things you can do that you may have never even considered.

Johnson Lighting has been in business in Savannah since the mid-1950s. As you might expect, they sell all kinds of lights, but they also have something else to offer, a little bit of knowledge. With the sale of each item, owner Joe Richey tells his customers how they can save money by saving energy.

Like the proper way to use ceiling fans. "It's not going to replace the air conditioning in the hot summer," he said. "But if you have a fan on, the air is moving and you have the temperature at 70 degrees you're not going to be able to stand it. It's going to be too cold. So the idea is to turn the thermostat back up."

Using a fan can save you a few bucks on your electric bill, but when you're using your fan, you have to make sure it's moving in the right direction. In the summer time, you'll most likely want to feel a slight breeze, so make sure you can feel the air coming down from the fan.

But, did you know, when you're using your heat, a ceiling fan can still save you some cash? "The idea is to reverse it, blow the air back up gently, bounce it off the walls and come back down," explained Richey. "So you're moving the air, it's just done so gently that you don't feel it."

By putting the fan in reverse mode, the warmer air that rises to the ceiling will be better circulated. Then you won't have to turn your heater up so high when it gets cold.

Another way you can save is with your lights. Florescent bulbs last much longer than typical bulbs, but they'll burn out fast if they're constantly turned on and off. So, Joe Richey says florescent bulbs are best for lamps that will run for hours at a time.

One last tip Richey has is about light control. He recommends installing dimmer lights as opposed to a typical on and off switch. "It increases the lamp life quite a bit. Whatever bulbs you use in your house, if you dim it 10, 15, 20 percent, the lamp life increases dramatically."

If you have money questions you'd like answered in Money Wise, email moneywise@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Dmitra Denmark, ddenmark@wtoc.com

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