Now that it’s getting colder and the holiday madness is approaching, here are some super simple ways to save energy that you can fit into your busy schedule. They’re quick, painless, and require no knowledge of anything remotely mechanical. If you’re handy with a caulk gun, go ahead and seal up those nooks and crannies around the windows. If you know your way around air filters and heating units, knock yourself out. But for the rest of us clueless souls, read on…
#1: Turn down your heat thermostat before you leave for work.
Then, turn it back up when you return home. If you have a programmable thermostat, it does this for you, requiring even less effort! You should lower it by 10 to 15 degrees.
#2: Turn down your hot water thermostat.
The optimal temperature here is in the range of 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
#3: Shut doors and close vents in unused rooms.
#4: Use your curtains on windows facing south and west.
Open them up on sunny days and close at night for extra insulation.
#5: Wash your clothes in cold water.
The bulk of the energy used by a washing machine is to heat the water. Clothes don’t require warm or hot water to be cleaned – in fact, cold water actually preserves color. To learn more, read this article by Real Simple: Does Washing Clothes in Cold Water Really Get Them Clean?
#6: Decorate your Christmas tree with LED lights.
(This technically still takes only five minutes if you order them online and have them shipped to your door.)
#7: Increase your inside temperature with your ceiling fan.
Reverse the motor on your ceiling fan so it turns clockwise. (This is as simple as flipping a switch or it may even be a button on a remote control). Keep the fan on a low setting and it will push down the warmer air near the ceiling.
#8: Check your TV’s brightness setting.
Try a lower setting and use less energy. Considering the average American watches five hours of TV per day, this could actually add up to quite a bit of energy savings.
#9: Unplug electronics you don’t use on a daily basis.
Learn more about slaying vampire power here.
#10: Make an appointment to get an energy audit.
Most local power companies offer these for free and you’ll have completed the very first step to bigger and better energy savings.
So there you have it. Even taking just five minutes out of your day can make a difference. If you need more encouragement, here’s some of the latest news on global warming and climate change.