Whether you are you looking to save the planet or save money on your electric bill here are eight ways to reduce your energy usage.
Use The Right Light At The Right Time
There are three ways that you can make sure that you are using only as much energy as necessary to light your home.
First, recycle those old incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy and last much longer. These bulbs have been on the market long enough that quality standards are fairly consistent and many have an Energy Star rating.
Second, make sure to open your blinds during the day. Now don’t worry if you like your privacy; you can still benefit from natural sunlight by using sheers behind the curtains. They are translucent; allowing light in but keep nosy neighbors out.
Third, install occupancy sensors. These devices replace a standard light switch with a switch/motion sensor combo. By using one of these you can be sure that the lights come on when you need them and are off shortly after you leave the room. This is great if you have kids, or a husband, who don’t seem to know how to find the light switch.
Use The Right Appliance At The Right Time
By changing the way in which we use our appliances we can save a tremendous amount of energy and money.
Start by replacing older, less energy efficient appliances with newer ones that have high Energy Star ratings. Act now and you can take advantage of the Cash For Clunkers stimulus on appliances saving up to $200.00 per appliance. This stimulus is only for Energy Star rated appliances.
Even those Energy Star appliances use a lot of energy so try these techniques for cutting usage.
There is a resurgence in line drying laundry sweeping the nation. Not only will line drying laundry save money on your electric bill but your clothes will last longer. I air dry my shirts and pants and even the ones that are pushing ten years look fairly new. If you live in an apartment or a condo where you can not line dry your laundry; use a collapsable drying rack.
Now that you are air drying some of or even most of your laundry you can wash larger loads in the clothes washer. By running fewer loads you will save time, money, energy and water. Because you are air drying a portion of every load dryer loads will be smaller.
Now here is the one that I had the most trouble with. Wash your dishes, by hand, after every meal. No this doesn’t take that much longer than using the dishwasher. First, you have to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and second, you usually have to finish drying them. Now if you are doing all of this anyway; why not just do it all?
Turn Your Home Entertainment Systems All The Way Off
Did you know that your TV, DVD player, stereo and game consoles still use energy after you turn them off? Well they do and that can have a big impact on your electric bill. So here’s how you solve it. Install surge protectors in easy to reach areas and when you are done using the entertainment system turn everything off then walk over to the surge protector and turn that off too.