No matter what day of the week it is, there’s always an opportunity to employ simple energy saving tips to help you in your home.
Time for laundry. Unless you have heavily soiled items, wash with cold water. According to the energystar.gov website, water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate the washer. You can help your dryer run more efficiently by cleaning the lint filter after every use, and not over-drying your clothes. If 50 minutes works, don’t set the time to 70 minutes.
Begin the energy savings process before heading off to work by preparing your home for the decrease in family activity time. Unplug electronics and chargers; turn off lights and fans; close curtains from summer heat, or angle blinds upward in winter to capture daytime sun warmth. Raise or lower your thermostat to keep it from running too frequently in an empty house.
Frustrated with the electric bill that came in the mail today? Walk over to the water heater and check the temperature setting. Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees, but could be just as effective at 120 degrees, which according to the EPA, provides the potential to cut costs by 6-10%. For electric water heaters, save money by installing an inexpensive timer that turns it off at night when you aren’t using hot water.
You’re going to need extra coffee this morning to get through “hump day.” Instead of leaving your coffee maker’s warmer on while getting ready, shut it off as soon as the brewing is complete and pour the rest into a thermos to keep it warm. Why? Even immediately powering down this simple appliance offers nearly 23% energy savings compared to leaving it on for more than an hour.
Running errands? Pop in the hardware store, and get caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks. Dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet may indicate air leaks that need caulking at joints and joists. Hold an incense stick near plumbing fixtures, electrical boxes, and ceiling fixtures. If the smoke moves horizontally, seal up these air leaks as well.
Backyard get-together tonight! Conserve water by cleaning driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of a hose. Accent your space with solar lights and candles in place of bulb energy. Leave the stove off, and put your grill-master to work. Unplug your portable music player, and use rechargeable batteries to power up background music. Get the kids away from energy-draining video games, and plan some electricity-free competitions!
When you get the duster out to clean, don’t forget to use it on light fixtures and bulbs. Dust can absorb 50% of light, making you want to turn on more lighting than necessary. Dusty air conditioner or furnace filters, refrigerator coils and vents all add to more energy usage as well. Even dust on electronics can force their fans and motors to run harder, eating up more electricity.
Every day brings a chance to make little changes in your life and home, and that includes small steps you can take to become more energy efficient.