The way we’re using our energy sources nowadays, it looks like our future generations will have to learn to live in darkness. People are fast realizing this fact given the increasing global awareness. If you’re looking for tips on reducing your electric bill or ways to be green, here are a few great ways you can contribute to saving depleting natural energy sources and also bring down your own energy bills!
USE ENERGY SAVING LIGHTS AND SWITCHES
Use these tips to use less energy for your home’s lighting.
1. Install dimmer switches in all your rooms; this way, you can dim the lights when you need the full brightness. By doing this, you can cut the light bulb’s energy consumption by half.
2. Switch to CFL light bulbs, which use four times less energy than regular incandescent bulbs. Replace all those bulbs that are most used in your home with CFLs.
3. Install motion sensors both inside and outside your home. This will ensure that lights turn on only when you are approaching them.
4. Replace your night light bulbs with LED night-lights. You can use them for a lifetime, they give you enough light to see and move about and they cost less than 25 cents a year to run!
5. Use solar powered lights outdoors in your lawn, garden, driveway and porch. Harness solar power; you get free light at night and the only cost will be the cost of the lights themselves! Plus you get solar lights in beautiful bright colors.
MAXIMIZE YOUR REFRIGERATOR USE
People use their refrigerator to store their foods indiscriminately, not realizing how much power the fridge uses to cools the foods. Here are a few useful tips on how to get the best out of your fridge and minimize the energy it uses:
6. Stock your freezer full. Food acts as insulation; keeping your freezer full reduces the amount of time that the fridge has in order to run to stay cool.
7. Make sure you clean your refrigerator’s coils regularly. Dirty condenser coils have to work harder to cool your foods, drinking more energy than needed. Ensure your fridge is maintained every three months to optimize its efficiency.
8. Cover your foods before you put them in the refrigerator. By doing so, the cooling won’t escape from the dish.
9. Check your fridge’s condensation; condensation only makes your fridge work harder costing you more money.
10. Always cool your food thoroughly before placing it in the fridge. Note that your fridge will have to work harder to cool foods that are hot or warm, since hot foods increase the temperature within your fridge.
11. If you have a second refrigerator, keep it in the basement where the temperature is more constant. Most people keep the second fridge in the garage, which is not advisable. The garage is usually hot in the summer and cold in the winter. This causes the refrigerator to work harder and use more energy.
LOWER YOUR AIR CONDITIONING CONSUMPTION
If you use air conditioning, make sure that you optimize on the cooling by using these tips.
12. Install ceiling fans in all your rooms. Ceiling fans use less energy and will keep circulating cool air; your air conditioner therefore won’t have to work as hard.
13. Install an attic fan; this will remove the hot air while pulling cool air into your house.
14. Change the filters of your heating and cooling system every 30 days to keep the system running at peak efficiency. Also get your heating and cooling system cleaned and inspected once a year. You’ll save energy and enjoy cleaner air in your home.
15. Use blinds and cool curtains to shield your home from the sun on its sunny side. You can also try using tinted window film for added coolness.
LOWER ENERGY UTILIZATION FOR LAUNDRY
The washing machine using up a great deal of energy in any average-sized family. When people use Laundromats, they pile up a week’s worth of laundry and then do their wash, to save the number of trips. However, those that have washing machines at home tend to ignore energy consumption constraints and use the washing machine as they please. Use the following tips to optimize your washing machine’s usage of power.
16. Use the dryer only in wet, damp seasons when the clothes need help to dry. During the remaining months, line-dry your clothes. You can do this easily with a backyard, the back portico, or even a balcony. If you just don’t have space, use a drying rack or put your clothes to dry on the shower rod.
17. Run a cold wash for most items in your washing machine, unless you’re washing baby clothes or very dirty clothes that need to be washed in hot water. Your washing machine consumes 90% more energy to heat water.
18. Don’t turn your washing machine on till you have a full load. It’s tempting to hurriedly wash a few items that you need urgently but put off the temptation as much as you can.
19. Keep your dryer lint trap clean; remove link after each load, scrub it with soap water, brush it once in two months to clean the lint screen. This will maximize your dryer’s efficiency.
20. You can speed up drying time by tossing dryer balls in your dryer.
OPTIMIZE ENERGY USAGE
Use these tips to get the best out of your energy consumption.
21. Get your energy usage audited. You’ll find out which areas could use a little trimming with regard to energy consumption.
22. You’ll be surprised to know that 75% of your home energy consumption is due to electronic devices that haven’t been turned off. Phantom energy loaders include VCRs, televisions, computers and several kitchen appliances. Either keep these devices switched off when not in use, or plug them all to power strips and turn off the strips when not needed.
23. Set your water heater’s temperature between 130 to 140 degree F for optimum usage. You can save more energy by insulating the first six feet of piping and by installing an insulation jacket.
24. If your area of residence offers you cheaper power rates during off peak hours such as nights and weekends, do most of your heavy power usage tasks during this time.
25. Replace your old appliances with Energy Star models, which are known to consume less electricity.