How much of your home power bill goes to cooking? Cleaning? Heating the water so you can face a hot shower on those cold mornings? What about simply heating the house at night so you don’t wake up with icicles hanging from your doodle? (Man, would that be uncomfortable?) These are not precise numbers for everyone, of course, but on average only about 10% of your monthly power bill goes toward refrigerating and cooking your food. In fact, only 10% of the average monthly heating bill covers cooking and
lighting your house. As for how much of your power bill goes to keeping your water warm, that is usually around 20%. Do the math and you have probably figured out that that means 70% of your bill goes to keeping your house warm in the summer and cool in the winter. Or vice versa if you are some kind of weirdo.
Is there any way to keep that 70% from sending you to the poorhouse over the next few years of the Bush/McCain Depression? Maybe so, but it will take some work. In order to keep power bills from exploding as Bush’s move to strip away regulation from the energy industry. Those big contributors to the Republican Party are always eager to get approval from your Republican Congressmen to increase your bill and it’s a cinch that John McCain won’t be any quicker to tell them no than his boyfriend George W. Bush was, so you need to be prepared to cut down on your bills any way possible.
A new heating system is one way to go, especially if you’ve got and outdated system. If your heating system is over 25 years old it is probably operating, at best, somewhere in the neighborhood of 65% efficiency. Now, don’t go thinking that you can up that efficiency rating to 100% by buying a new heating system. Even the newest, top of the line heating system you can buy today is only going to operate at 80% efficiency at its peak. But since there is a very good chance that your old heating system is currently only pumping at around 50% efficiency, 80% will save you a healthy chunk of change. And, hey, isn’t every single dollar you can keep away from the money grubbing sons of bitches who have done absolutely everything they can to obstruct your right to affordable energy worth it? If not, then consider that upgrading to a new system may save you anywhere from $200 to $500 a year.
Whether you have a relatively new system or make the decision to buy a new one, it is important to order a service call once a year. Allow a professional who is not in any way related to the actual company that is providing your energy to come out and inspect your heating system. Most systems tend to lose efficiency over the course of the year and the rougher the extreme season in your part of the country, the farther the distance from peak efficiency will wind up. Therefore, if a service call can retrieve even just one or two percent of lost efficiency, you will more than make up for the cost of the service call.
Another way to keep your hard-earned money out of the pockets of the men who have put Republicans into the White House in this century is to reduce the setting on your hot water heater. Most hot water heaters are set between 140 and 160 degrees. By resetting your hot water heater to 120 degrees you can save money not just by not having the water heater not work as hard, by eschewing longer showers because the water won’t be as comfortable. In addition, make sure that your house has proper insulation. A house lacking in insulation is no different than driving up the mansion of guys who own power companies and slipping a day’s salary through their mail slot. Insulation is king. Another simple way to take money out of the hands of energy barons is to use space heaters when you can. Why heat an entire house when you’re only in one room at a time? Doing so merely ensures that the energy company execs who benefited from the stolen election that placed the Republicans in power for the next twelve years drive bigger climate-changing vehicles and buy their mistresses even more luxurious apartments. Is that what you want?