After an unusually warm start to the year, including temperatures approaching 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the Northland, winter came in full force, dropping temperatures well below zero and forcing residents to crank up the thermostat.
But before you spend money on the latest energy-efficient gizmo that’s supposed to save you money, let’s look at some energy saving ideas that will really help conserve energy.
First, sit down and think about all the different ways your family uses energy around the house. Now write down an approximate cost for each use of energy. You may have trouble breaking down the costs, but do your best. Now all you have to do is find ways to save on your resources while cutting your costs. You may have to think creatively, but it can be done.
So here are some tips to get you started:Turn the lights off when you’re not using them. This is really simple and easy to do. Do you really need your bedroom light on when you’re in the living room? Do you leave lights on when you leave the house? Do you even need more than one light on in a room for what you are doing? Believe it or not, this makes a big difference.Turn all electronics and other appliances off when you’re not using them. No one can do everything at the same time. Can you really listen to a radio, watch television and use your computer all at the same time?Set your thermostat down a couple of degrees in winter. And dress appropriately indoors during winter. For instance, put on a sweater or some extra clothing, or snuggle under a blanket to stay warm.Use appliances only when you have a full load. This is true especially for the washing machine, dryer and even the dishwasher. It is amazing how much extra energy is used doing multiple small loads in comparison to one full load.Perform regular maintenance on your appliances. Keeping them clean means they don’t have to work as hard. Changing filters reduces the energy needed to accomplish a task. Regular care will also mean that any maintenance bills may well be cheaper.Be careful how you use your water. When brushing your teeth or washing your hands, use only the water you need. Don’t let the water run the entire time. Also, try to use less water if you take a bath, or control your shower times.Simply let your hair air-dry, instead of using a blow dryer every day.Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.Seal the cracks around your doors and windows. You are paying for the hot air that escapes through cracks all around your house. Make sure you do all you can to keep the warm air you’re paying for inside your house.Check your house’s insulation. Poor insulation is one of the biggest factors that lead to home energy waste.
Some of these tips may seem trivial, but even the small things add up over time. For most of them, you won’t even notice the difference — except in your bills.
ArticleCity and Forum News Service
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