We’re all experiencing it right now; too long and too extreme weathers. Winters that last long and seem to never end along with summers that can kill in a matter of minutes. Environmentalists and experts are calling on everyone to stop global warming by conserving energy. If that doesn’t faze you much, how about this: cutting down on your energy consumption will reduce your utility bill by over 40%. That’s some serious money if you think about long term benefits. A lot of people are stumped with where they can begin aside from turning off the lights when not in use and all that simple stuff. Here’s how you can go greener and save money.
This is one of the easiest way to save energy (and money). You simply switch your incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, since the latter uses 80 percent less energy, last 10 to 15 times longer, and technically pay for their costs in five month’s time. Even if it’s a cheaper price, you won’t feel that you’re getting low quality as well since CFLs burn brighter than the incandescent light bulb.
Instead of plugging your appliances directly into the wall sockets or in extension cords, you can plug them into power strips instead. When you tuck in for the night, you can flip the switch since you’re not going to use it anyway. This applies to computers, printers, TVs, DVD players and stereos as well as lights and other appliances. Although this might not seem much at first, you will save 10 percent of your energy bill with this simple device.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean that you have to be so comfortable to walk around in your underwear when it’s freezing outside. In this scenario, your heater is working overtime and is using up a lot of your electricity. Experts agree that turning down your thermostat to 68 degrees F when you’re at home and 65 degrees F at night. You simply put on a sweater during the day and use an extra blanket at night. It’s that simple, yet you save so much.
If you want to take it a step further, you can install programmable thermostats. This device will let you pre-program thermostat settings like when you’re at work, during the weekend, or when you’re going to bed. Even if you forget to adjust your thermostat, it will take care of it for you. It might be expensive at first, so you should check if you really need it or if your memory serves you well.
While you are bracing yourself before the winter comes, you should also make it a point to check the spaced in between the doors or in the windows. If there’s a sizeable space in all of them, then chances are your precious heat could be escaping outside, and your heater has to work hard all the time. In this situation, you could buy caulk from the hardware store. It’s very cheap, so you can buy a lot and they come similar to toothpaste tubes. So you can easily apply them in those hard to reach places.
Another method to save on your heating costs is to have your filters checked and replaced regularly. Filters act to keep the dirt and dust from getting inside your heating system. However when they get too much dirt on them, the filters blocks the hot air instead (and possibly is a very good source of contamination in your house). Changing these costs less than $10 or you can opt for those washable filters. It might set you back when you buy them, but you’ll definitely save more in the long run.
You might not realize it, but where your refrigerator’s location matters. If it’s near heated appliances like dishwashers or heating ducts, it will cause the refrigerator to work harder and use more electricity than normal. Simply checking the location around your refrigerator can help solve this problem. Make sure it’s in a cool place, without any interruptions and somewhere accessible for you in case you need to clean or brush the back.
Another tip regarding refrigerators is to place more stuff or food in your freezer. This might seem a bit unheard of or queer, but it has been proven that the more you have in your freezer, the less energy it needs to run. Of course, you should not block the freezer fan for it to work properly.
Instead of doing small loads of laundry wait until the washer is full; doing fewer loads will cut down on energy and water costs. When you do wash your clothes, use warm water instead of hot. There are even special detergents being sold that can wash clothes in cold water. This eliminates the need for the washer to heat the water before it can begin washing. Lastly, remember to clean the filter of your dryer each and every time you use it.
More than ambience, outdoor lighting can also be used for security. This is why a lot of people struggle with switching off their outdoor lights or removing them in total. If you’re have this dilemma, what you can do instead is to install motion sensor lights in place. This will significantly cut down energy consumption and it will also be more secure since it will alert you much better than an outdoor light that is always on.
While you’re cooking, there are also ways that you can do to save energy. For example, when you cook in the kitchen, don’t turn on the cooling system in that room. Instead, you can use an electric fan to blow the air gently in the kitchen. While you’re cooking, the temperature in the room will undoubtedly rise high, so it will compete unnecessarily with your air conditioning unit.
If you use the oven, don’t always peek in to check the condition or what. Each time you open the door you are losing about 25 degrees of temperatures, not to mention you delay the total cooking time.
Using a microwave isn’t totally a bad idea. In fact, it’s much better than using your electric stove. A microwave will cook or heat the food faster, saving you energy in the long run.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways that you can save energy and go green in your own house. You don’t need to do something fancy or spend a lot of money. A lot of the steps outlined above indicate simple changes in lifestyle or even just positioning your appliances. Of course, nothing beats common sense and having your wits about you as you are consciously thinking if using this appliance is worth it or is there a better alternative for it. It starts with being conscious, and then you start from there.