Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cut Your Home Energy Use

Here are a few easy and effective ways of cutting your home energy use – in half!  These sensible tips are easy to practice and implement, and they will add up to huge savings, both financial and environmental.  And best of all – you will feel good doing it:
  • Your refrigerator is the biggest home energy consumer. If you have an old unit that was built before 1993, it is time to replace it for a more energy efficient model. You should always keep your refrigerator clean and discard old food. Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator every six months to keep it running at its best.
  • Installing Energy Star ceiling fans in rooms where you spend most of your time, could add up to 19 % in energy savings . Turn your air conditioner off an let your ceiling fans keep you cool during the summer months.
  • If you already own high efficiency Energy Star appliances, keep them clean and well maintained and fix them if they break. This will give them a long, efficient life and keep our landfills cleaner. This is an excellent resource for appliance repair parts, instinctual videos, repair help, maintenance tips and more.
  • You can cut your washing machine energy use in half by doing your laundry in cold water. Your clothes will be just as clean and will last longer and look fresher. If you dry clothes on an outdoor clothes line they will smell like the wind and sunlight and you will save more than a hundred dollars a year.
  • In an average American household, home appliance account for 20 percent of energy consumption. If your appliances are old and inefficient and you are looking to buy new ones, look for the most efficient Energy Star models that you can find. The higher cost will pay for itself over a few years and you will feel good about saving both money and energy. Refrigerators and clothes dryers are the biggest energy consumers.
  • By placing an insulating cover or blanket on your water heater, you can lower heat loss by 24-45 percent. If possible, turn your water heater temperature down by ten degrees – if half of American homes did that, 239 tons of greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented from escaping into the atmosphere. And, if you upgrade to a tankless or solar water heater, you will save even more – 14% more.
  • Save 10% in energy cost by installing a programmable thermostat and using it to greatest advantage.
  • By using your dishwasher unit effectively (make sure it’s full!) instead of hand washing dishes you will actually save water and energy, but make sure to let your dishes air dry. Use your dishwasher wisely by skipping the drying cycle and the pre-rinsing option. Also, run your appliances (dishwashers as well as your laundry machines) at night, when the energy use is at it’s lowest and you will help ease the energy consumption demand.
  • Keep track and measure the energy use of your home appliances with a Kill-A-Watt meter. This is an easy way to remind yourself to be more watchful and careful with energy consumption!

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