Newschannel 7 Supers Savers: Saving Money at Home

By: Julia Fello Email
By: Julia Fello Email

If you’ve ever wondered just how much energy your home may be guzzling up – we decided to put one local home to the test and bring along an expert from the Wisconsin Public Service, Kelly Zagrzebski.

“Just because of whats going on with the economy, we’ve got a number of customers that may be in the past never had to worry about their energy usage,” said Zagrzebski.

That is, until now.

So we wanted to find out just how much money you could keep in your wallet by finding simple ways to save around a home. There are some things you may not be aware of, like cell phone chargers left plugged in all day.

“They have them actually in their box where their plugged in and nothing is being charged but you can see they are using power because the red light’s on,” said Zagrzebski about the Marathon County home we visited.

It’s called phantom energy, where electronics not in use are still using energy while plugged in. We found phantom energy being used all around the home.

“You just have to decide do you want to let that operate throughout the day or not do you just want to turn it off,” said Zagrzebski.

This home also had a refrigerator that was more than a decade old. She says it’s most likely running the family about $16 a month to use, and if they were to get it replaced, they could save them more than $80 a year.

If you still need to use the oven to cook, just turn it off for the last ten minutes your food needs to bake.

“It’s at the temperature it should be baking its warm in there unless you continually open the door and close it turn it off the last ten minutes so you’re not operating it or heating it,” said Zagrzebski.

The biggest place your home loses heat, are from your windows.

“Anytime you have any air coming through the windows the sills the door frames it always feels uncomfortable it feels cold so if you’re able to seal those up and make it feel warmer the home feels warmer,” said Zagrzebski.

Another great savings tip she gave us for any home is to get a setback thermostat for your home.

“You would set it back eight degrees for eight hours it helps to save at least 3% on your heating bills for your home so just the setback thermostat they’ll run you anywhere from 30 to 60 dollars,” said Zagrzebski.

The biggest debate she’s heard, is whether computers are the biggest energy guzzler.

“Basically we say to shut them off but if there’s another reason that you’ve got to decide what is right for you and your home,” said Zagrzebski.

In the end with all these tips, the family who lives in the Marathon County home we visited could slash about 25% off their bill, if they simply control the phantom energy in their home.

“My rule of thumb is if your not using it and your leaving for more than an hour turn it off,” says Zagrzebski.

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