In these days of rising fuel prices and increasing concern about the environment, we’re all looking for ways to save energy around the home. Following these simple, low-cost tips can help cut down your fuel bills.
1) Install a programmable thermostat.
Take the guesswork out of regulating the temperature around your home. A programmable thermostat lets you manage your home’s heating and cooling systems much more efficiently: no more forgetting to turn the heating or the AC off or on; no more coming home to a freezing cold house or one where the heat has been blasting all day. A programmable thermostat enables you to fine-tune your temperature control; you could save a significant amount of money just by turning down your thermostat by a single degree.
2) Turn off electronic and electrical devices.
Get into the habit of always switching things off when you aren’t using them: incandescent lights, TVs, your computer and monitor, the home entertainment system. Don’t leave devices on standby – turn them off completely. Leaving these items switched on wastes electricity. Using a power strip with a switch enables you to turn off multiple devices at once, making it easy and convenient to save energy.
3) Watch out for “vampire drain.”
When you leave a cell phone or other mobile device to recharge, it continues to draw power even after the battery is full. Make sure that you unplug mobile devices and battery rechargers once charging is complete. As with other electronic devices, using a power strip makes this much easier.
4) Air-dry dishes.
Instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle, air-dry or towel-dry your dishes.
5) Take showers.
After heating and cooling your home, domestic water heating places the biggest demand on your energy supply. A short three-minute shower gets you just as clean as a full bath and saves a significant amount of energy. For even bigger savings, install low-flow shower heads.
6) Close your windows.
When trying to heat or cool your home, make sure that all your windows are shut to keep in the warm or cold air. An open window simply wastes energy.
7) Turn down your water heater.
Hot water doesn’t have to be scalding. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F – you’ll hardly notice the difference, and you could save a lot of money.
8) Look for ENERGY STAR® labeled products.
Electronic and electrical appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR® label have been designed and tested to be more energy efficient. When you buy new appliances – from light bulbs to refrigerators – look for the official ENERGY STAR® mark.
9) Air-dry clothes.
Heating the volume of air required to tumble-dry your clothes is very expensive; a dryer is one of the most energy-hungry devices around. Hanging your clothes up outdoors saves lots of money and leaves them smelling fresher, too. In wet weather, you can dry your clothing indoors using a retractable clothesline.
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