Every Day

More Changes As To How We Use Power in Our Home; Part Two

We used to keep two guest bedrooms closed off in the winter time. We would shut the door and close the vents in those rooms and then put cloth snakes in front of them. However, I am not going to do that this year on the advice of my heating people. They tell me that by doing that, it makes our furnace run harder costing us more money. I am willing to test this out for the winter season to see if we use less natural gas.

I had so many clothes, sheets, blankets and comforters to wash this weekend that I used cold water for all but did use my dryer. It would have been too much for me to hang. The comforter took a long time to dry. Today, I can get the two guest beds back together. But since all are done, I am ready for more guests. By doing them one load after the other, It cost less than doing them on different days. The residual heat always helps. I always do full loads.

We use our small appliances most all of the time to cook rather than use our stove top and oven. If I can cook it in the air fryer, I do. Over the winter, we use it for almost all our meats. I haven’t tried hamburgers in it but we do pork chops, lamb chops, chicken and even steaks. I love grilling steaks outside but not in the cold and snow. So Hubby tried filet mignon in the air fryer once a couple of years ago and it was perfect. We now do all of our steaks in it in the cold weather. I will try hamburgers soon. I am just worried about it making a mess on the inside of the air fryer. Do any of you do hamburgers in yours? Is it messy?

Unless, I am cooking for more than the two of us, I now scramble our eggs and cook them in the microwave in a mug. They only take 45 seconds to 1 minute. I always cook our bacon in the microwave also. So it is easy for me to have bacon and eggs for breakfast most mornings. I also use our instant pot for hard boiling eggs each week when we want to switch up how we want them. I can do up to a dozen at a time. I usually do this when I am having eggs delivered that day. I always buy the 60 count from Walmart. The old ones get hard boiled and the new ones get put in the fridge. I cut the flaps off the new box and it fits perfectly on the top shelf of the fridge. It still leaves me room to put the hard boiled ones in front of the raw ones so they get used up first. They get used for meals and snacks.

Our instant pot gets used for lots of soups, stews, one skillet dishes and taco meat. I love to cook up lots of meat for tacos at once and then freeze it into portions. It is then so easy to make taco salad for a meal.

We also use our waffle iron a few times a month. Hubby makes blueberry ones from blueberries that I freeze in August when they are in season. But his best are the apple cinnamon ones. He always makes more than for just one meal. I freeze the extras to pull out when we are in a rush to go out. I have a small waffle iron to make chaffles when I am on Keto.

All of our oatmeal gets cooked in the microwave. On an especially cold day like today, it tastes so good.

I use our bread maker now for all of our breads. I will bake muffins in the toaster oven.

What ever small appliance works, I will use instead of the big appliance.

We no longer use an electric blanket. When we got the adjustable beds and had to buy new linens, I thought about buying new ones but decided that two blankets and flannel sheets on each would work fine and use no electricity.

Our freezer I have to manually defrost. So I try to keep the ice off the walls so that it is more efficient. Three times a year, I defrost it using a blow dryer and a plastic scraper. This saves us the cost of it constantly defrosting if I had a frost free one. I also use a chest freezer rather than an upright for two reasons. It costs less to run and it holds more food per square foot.

We use a storm door on our back door to keep the drafts down. We can not find one that fits our front door but we rarely open that door in the winter.

I never let hot water just run down the sink. I have two sinks so I put a little hot water in one to wash and a little warm water in one to rinse. Anything that can go in the dishwasher does.

Since we upgraded our A/C unit to a more efficient one this year because of a freon leak, our A/C bills were lower. We also will get a tax credit on our income taxes when we do them the beginning of the year. It was a win, win situation.

We always have our furnace checked by a professional just before heating season. If we hadn’t, we would not have known that the motor was failing in the furnace. Hubby replaced it.

We always have a professional check our A/C just before summer. If we hadn’t, we would not have know about the freon leak we had.

I am discussing with Hubby insulating our hot water pipes that run through the unheated basement. We did this ourselves in one of our homes.

We also check for leaky ducts in the duct work. They can be fixed easily using duct tape.

If you have heat registers in the floor like we do, place your furniture so that it doesn’t block them.

Replace your furnace filters about once a month to keep your furnace running efficiently.

We use a programmable thermostat so that it automatically turns the heat down at night and up in the morning.

I open shades and blinds on sunny windows and close them when the sun is no longer on them.

We inspect the seal on our refrigerator once a year to make sure it is tight. We put a flashlight on inside of it. If you can see light outside of the fridge, replace the seal.

Never put hot foods in your refrigerator and open and close the door quickly.

Use cold water when operating your garbage disposal.

I hope these tips help you keep your energy bills down.

If you have any tips that you would like to share, feel free to comment.

7 replies on “More Changes As To How We Use Power in Our Home; Part Two”

Hi Precious, I will be interested to see how your heat bills are with the extra rooms open. I keep ours open upstairs for the same reason your heat guy said, plus the bathroom up there is in between the bedrooms, in a corner of the house, so I didn’t want to close it up b/c of the pipes.

Love all your small appliance tips. I don’t have a lot of these, but am still thinking about the air fryer. I do use my crock pot in the winter. I try to premake big portions of taco meat and spaghetti sauce also when I can. When I use the oven, I keep the door open after I turn it off to capture the heat in the room and not waste it.

I will be interested to know how your flannel sheet/blanket experiment goes with your new beds. We have never used flannel sheets, I have never thought to buy them. We preheat our bed with the electric blanket, but turn it off when we get in. It is about time to put the comforter on over it. Right now we just have a quilt.

Thanks for the tips about the hot water pipes and ducts. We have not done these things in this house, and I will have Hubby look to see if this is needed in Jan when he retires and has time to do. Also really appreciated the tip about the refrigerator seal and the flashlight, will have him do that also. I think a lot of your other tips are things we do also. If I think of other tips, I will come back and update. This was a really helpful article, Precious.

Hi Chris,

I am anxious to find out if the heating guy is right. Especially because our utility company tells us we will save money if we close those rooms off. Next bill will tell.

Thanks. You have to love cooking in big batches. When I make spaghetti sauce, I fill the crock pot right to the top.
I do the same as you do with your oven and the toaster oven and air fryer too.

So far we are loving our flannel sheets.

You are welcome. We all help each other.

Chris, I wished you lived closer to me. I have a great air fryer you can have. Since our new oven has an air fryer option we don’t use our small appliance anymore. I just wanted to send you a note also (sorry Precious) to let you know I deleted my blog. Once and for all. The trolls were just unrelentless and after a while I realized they weren’t worth any effort. Apparently as a white, conservative, christian woman, I’m a target now. Thank you for your loyalty. I didn’t know how else to reach you. But thanks to Precious’s blog at least we all can all be civil to each other here.

Precious, isn’t it just awful the way we have to live now? I’m always fretting about the electrify and the heat. We switched to a pellet stove but won’t sleep at night with it running. I shut it down at midnight and turn it back on around 5AM. I do set our propane heating system at 64F should the house drop that low but I silently pray it doesn’t go on. We do sleep under an electric blanket (set on low) because it just gets too cold in the bedroom when the temps outside drop below 30F. We use our Instant Pot a lot! Just starting to get into soups now.
Here’s something you’ll get a kick out of. If we set our new dishwasher on ECO (it only uses cold water) the electricity runs longer because it takes longer to wash & dry the dishes! Like 3 hours!!!! So stupid. All my appliances are Energy Star. When I get next month’s bill I’ll be able to see if there’s any difference in cost. We got a new fridge but our old one is in the basement, running! Got rid of our mini-fridge instead. All our lights are LED and I only have nite lights on in the evening. Time will tell.

Hi Cindi,

I never thought I would see the day that things were this bad. We too keep our gas heater down to 64 at night but lately it just runs and runs. It is so cold here.

Enjoy those soups! They taste so good in this weather.

That is crazy about your dishwasher. Let us know how it equates in your bill. I am not sure that ECO is all it is cracked up to be.

The new dishwasher energy expense will either show up in this month’s bill (but it’ll be partial) or next month (full month of use). I’ll let you know. We have to turn on the dishwasher at 11:30PM as it runs for at least 3 hours on ECO! Go figure, right????

Leave a Reply