We all tend to complain when getting our electricity, heating or water bill and most of us tend to deal with the issue as something we cannot do anything about but just keep paying them. Some of us might even think that in order to reduce our utility bills we have to go through an expensive renovation that will take years to recover the amount of money we spend on it. All this might be true to a certain level but there are ways that we can conserve energy today without spending much money or even spending no money at all by just becoming more educated and doing some minor adjustments to our habits.
Savings from the lights
Yes we all know that lighting is an important aspect of our electricity bill and yes we all know that we have to turn off the lights when leaving a room but do we actually do this? Always keep in mind that leaving the lights on is a waste of money and the easiest step to start with in saving energy. If you have children this might be even a topic of friction at home and you might be even accused of nagging too much about it so, don’t. You can simply setup an energy penalty jar. Anyone that is in violation of this simple rule should deposit a dime each time which is a small amount. Once the jar gets filled up count the money then you children might get the idea of how small amounts can easily accumulate into large ones. Of course, an even better scenario would be to never have to count the money in the jar and for them to get the lesson after the first couple of dimes.
Replace all incandescent light bulbs with energy star ones. According to Energy star if all households in the US replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an efficient energy star one, that would translate into saving electricity enough for lighting almost 3 million houses for a whole year. Savings from such step are estimated to $600 million per year. Note that even energy stars bulbs might be more expensive they also last more than 10 times than conventional ones and use approximately only one fifth of the energy. Energy star estimates this savings to $6 a year a piece and up to $40 during its lifetime so you can do the math and figure out the benefit of replacing even more.
Savings from your Electrical appliances
We can’t live without them and they can’t operate without electricity. First step is to make sure that when buying a new appliance is energy star compliant. If you are not in the market of buying new appliance then you can follow these simple tips to make the most out your existing ones.
The first step is to always make sure you have a full load since the amount of energy that you consume is pretty much the same regardless of the load size. Always keep in mind that new generation detergents are very efficient in washing your clothes with cold water so you don’t have to use hot water most of the time. Note that 90% of the energy a washing machine consumes goes into warming up water so unless you have impossible stains on your clothes then no there is no need for the sanitary cycle that uses extra hot water.
Dryers use a significant amount of energy so when possible hang your clothes to dry by using a drying rack. Always try to do this in by also setting your washing machine into a high spin mode to minimize moisture and speed up the drying of your clothes.
Dryer energy saving tips
If you have no option and you have to use the dryer then make sure that before using it the filter is clean since it improves its efficiency and reduces energy consumption. New models have a moisture sensor that turns off your dryer as soon as it detects that they are dry enough. Use this option and save energy and protect your clothes from unnecessary wearing off.
First step is the most intuitive: don’t open its door frequently and unnecessarily. Make sure there is no direct sunlight on your refrigerator and that there is no heating source nearby. This way you help it cool the items inside easier. Also make sure that the wall you’re putting your refrigerator against is an external wall that doesn’t get any sunlight. The most important step is setting the temperature to the most optimal level. This is usually in the range of 36F to 45 F for the fridge and at -5F for the freezer. A rule of thumb for estimating savings is to keep in mind that you save 20% for every 5 degrees for the freeze or 10 degrees for the fridge but always keep food safety in mind when adjusting the temperature.