Cutting down on electricity usage in your home doesn’t just save money, but also helps to save the planet as well. Every time we plug an electronic device into an outlet or turn on a household appliance we are adding our share of pollution into the atmosphere. So the more we can learn about saving electricity, the more we can help our planet. An added benefit to using these tips to save electricity is that we will also wind up with more money in our pockets that we can use to enjoy the planet we help to save!
There are a number of fairly easy ways we can adapt our daily lives in order to save electricity. None of these electricity saving tips involve a big up-front outlay of money or a drastic change to our lifestyles. Just a few small modifications to the way we approach our use of electricity, and we’ll be saving kilowatt hours in no time! Now I do believe that it’s so ingrained in our way of life to use electricity without thinking about how much we use or the ramifications of our usage, but if we are to do something about helping our planet then we need to be more cognizant of the outcome of our actions and what we can do to lessen the carbon footprint we leave on this earth.
The best way to make the biggest impact on our household electricity consumption is to focus on the items in our house that consume the most energy. I’m talking about the big items, like air conditioners, electric heat and hot water heaters (if you use electric ones), electric clothes dryers, large household appliances, like refrigerators and dishwashers (especially if they’re older models and are less efficient), and lighting.
So with those energy hogs in mind, here are 12 tips to save electricity:
1. Turn up the thermostat on your air conditioning, or better yet turn it off all together, and use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate the air in your house.
2. Turn down the thermostat when the heat is on and dress warmly, sleep with an extra blanket, or use space heaters in rooms that you frequent.
3. Close heating and air conditioning vents in rooms that you do not utilize often and close the doors. This will send the cool or warm air into the rooms that you use and will be more efficient.
4. Install a programmable thermostat and set the temperatures when you are out of the house and at night so that less air conditioning and heat are needed. Have the thermostat programmed to kick on the air or heat first thing in the morning before you get out of bed or shortly before you arrive home at the end of the day so you are comfortable.
5. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot or at least warm water instead of hot. There are a number of laundry detergents on the market now that are formulated to get your clothes clean even in cold water. By doing this, you will use less energy because the water doesn’t have to be heated.
6. When possible, use a clothes drying rack or a clothesline instead of your electric dryer. This tip requires more of a dedicated commitment to change than some of the others, but can be done and will result in lower usage of electricity and ultimately lower electric bills. Even if you can’t do it all the time, try to do it some of the time and you’ll reap some benefits.
7. Keep your fridge and freezer stocked with food to maintain the cold air, but don’t overload it or the cold air won’t have a chance to circulate and the appliance will have to work harder. Also make sure that you regularly clean off the air filters on the back or bottom of the appliance to increase the efficiency of the unit. Older models are less efficient than newer models, but unless your appliance is nearing the end of its life, it’s a rather pricey investment to replace.
8. If you have an extra freezer or refrigerator in your garage or basement, consider whether you really need it. You may have kept it when you replaced your old appliance just to store extras, but if you don’t really need it, you’ll be saving quite a bit of electricity and money by unplugging it.
9. Many dishwasher models have an option to turn off the heated dry cycle, and by doing it you will save electricity. Also by not selecting the ‘temp boost’ option and selecting the ‘energy saver’ option (if your model offers them), you will be decreasing the amount of energy used per wash cycle. Washing only full loads of dishes will also reduce energy consumption as well.
10. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They reduce energy consumption and last a lot longer, so the extra price paid for the bulbs is more than offset in additional savings.
11. Plug your small appliances and electronics into a power strip and turn the power strip off when they’re not in use. Appliances and electronics still draw electricity when not in use, especially if they have clocks.
12. Turn off lights, televisions and any other electronic appliances when you leave a room or they’re not in use. This may sound like a very logical piece of advice, but you’d be amazed by how often we forget to do it!
By following some or all of these tips to save electricity you will be lowering the amount of pollution you are responsible for contributing to the planet, lessening your carbon footprint, and ultimately saving yourself a bit of money in the process!