All of us want to save energy and money. Face it, the money is usually a bigger deal to us. It’s not that we don’t care about the environment or saving energy but our money issues hit us daily. If we take a minute and think about it, saving energy, while being great for the environment and for the human race, could result in substantial savings for us as individuals. There are always ways to save a little money. A little money for each thing that you do, multiplied by all the things there are to DO, will add up to real money. Here are some easy ways to save energy, and money.
Use Fluorescent Bulbs
Regular incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient. Most of the electricity that is used to make the light gets converted to heat. Fluorescents are about three times more efficient. If you replace one 75-watt incandescent bulb with an 18-watt fluorescent, will save about 570 kilowatt-hours of electricity over the fluorescent’s 10,000-hour life. Since fluorescents last many times longer than incandescents, you won’t have to change the bulb as often. For each fluorescent that is installed, you’ll save between $3 and $15 per year. There are now many varieties and light strengths to choose from.
Use Your Microwave
Use Your Microwave instead of your oven. Microwaves use a LOT less energy than your standard oven. A microwave uses about one fifth of the energy. Other alternatives to the oven are electric frying pans, gas ovens, crockpots and toaster ovens. These are all better than your large electric kitchen oven but a microwave is still about twice as good as each of these.
Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Most of the energy used in your laundry, about 90%, goes to heating the water for a hot water wash. To reduce costs, wash in cold water. There are some things, heavily stained items for instance, that will need hot water. For the most part, using liquid laundry detergent in cold water will get everything else clean and sanitary
Caulk and Weatherstrip
Devote some time to sealing and caulking the gaps around windows and doors. You know where they are when you feel the cold air seeping in. Older homes always need attention to this kind of detail since over time they shift and realign themselves. Weatherstripping and caulking materials are inexpensive and can be found at any home improvement store.
Unplug appliances that you are not using. Some appliances even when not in use still pull some electricity running clocks, or lights or timers. This includes your computer. Unplug it.
Adjust your Thermostat
Play with the temperature controls to find out where you are comfortable. A couple of degrees can make major changes to your bills. If it’s 90 degrees outside and your air conditioner is set on 80, that’s 15 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. It doesn’t have to be the same temperature in your house as it is in your refrigerator. Do the same with your furnace. Put on long sleeves and toy with the temp.
Buy Efficient Appliances
Buy efficient appliances. There are energy stickers on all major appliances. Compare. Take a calculator and figure what it might save you in the long run. Energy Star appliances often use HALF the electricity of older models. THAT is going to translate into HUGE savings!
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