Michael Bluejay is a bit of a wonk when it comes to electricity savings ideas. Make that major wonk. In fact, he calls himself "Mr. Electricity."
"In the typical home, air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else," Bluejay writes on his blog, aptly titled "Saving Electricity
." "This is where the savings are, folks, not in worrying that you left your cell phone charger plugged in too long." Bluejay says you can save a chunk of cold cash in the summer by supplementing your air conditioning with fans everywhere -- including ceiling fans. The U.S. Department of Energy
estimates that by circulating the air with fans you can set your thermostat four degrees cooler without a loss of comfort.
"Put the wind-chill factor to work for you," Bluejay says. "Ceiling fans are cheaper than you might expect: they start out around $40 at your local home improvement store, and usually cost less than a penny an hour to run." He also says to make sure your fan is blowing down, not up, so that it removes the hot air that surrounds you. If your fan is blowing up, it won't do any good. In fact, he says it's worse than no fan at all, because it moves the warm air to the ceiling then right back down to you.