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5 things to turn off before you leave the room

20140801_turnoff_fbby Esther Leonard

Most people know to turn off their electronics or the AC before leaving the house. However, few people realize that they can save money while in the house by simply turning off electronics in unoccupied rooms.

Before you leave the room, consider turning off these five energy guzzlers.

  1. Turn off the lights!

We’ve heard this over and over again since childhood yet we still don’t make turning off the lights a habit. On average, Americans spend about 15 percent of their electric bills on lighting. Depending on the watt rating on your light bulb you could save a few cents for every hour that one light bulb is turned off, slashing your bill throughout the year.

  1. Don’t forget the ceiling fan!

Many times the light switch is next to the ceiling fan switch. So when leaving the room, turn off both. Ceiling fans do not cool the air in the room. The reason why a room feels cooler when the fan is on is because moving air causes water to evaporate from the surface of your body which makes you feel cooler.

“If no one’s skin is under that ceiling fan to feel the air movement, the fan is doing nothing but using electricity,” says Allison Bailles, energy efficiency blogger.

  1. Dial down the AC.

There are many central air systems that divide into separately controlled spaces and a growing number of systems that can be controlled by room—allowing you to more finely control where you can turn off the air conditioning to save money. In the case of box AC units, it’s cost efficient to turn off the air conditioner in that room or space when no one is there.

  1. Switch off the TV.

We all know the temptation to leave the TV on in the background. However, it’s wasting energy and money. TV and DVD players make up about 8% of an average energy bill. By simply turning it off before you leave the room; you can cut a few dollars from your bill yearly.

  1. Power down the computer.

Many leave their computers on 24/7– a sure way to lose money. Computers use power whether they are busy or idle. If you aren’t using it, the computers are using as much power as if you were surfing the internet.

Good news: Newer computers and laptops have power options that allow the machines to power on and off faster.

For more help, join CUBEnergySaver.com, a free tool that helps consumers build a money-saving energy plan customized for their home. It has been showing people how to cut utility bills by an average of about $100 a year.