Conserving electricity serves the double purpose of helping stop global warming and saving a lot of money over time. Take a look around your home and office: any appliance that operates on electricity can be made more energy efficient. Insulating your home and changing your daily habits are also effective ways to reduce the amount of electricity you use. Read on for more details on how to save electricity.
Embrace natural light. Open up your curtains and let the sun shine in! Using natural light whenever possible instead of relying on artificial light can greatly reduce the amount of electricity you use during the day. The same is true whether you work in an office or spend your days in your house. Exposure to natural light also increases happiness, giving you an even greater incentive to raise the blinds.
Try to arrange your workspace so that natural light floods your desk. Keep the overhead lights off when possible. When you need extra lighting, use a low-powered desk lamp instead.
Buy curtains or blinds in a light shade. They will still allow light to come through, but also provide privacy when you need it.
Change your bulbs. Replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs is a big energy saver. Incandescent bulbs release 98% of their consumed energy through heat, while CFL and LED bulbs are much more energy efficient and last several times longer.
CFL bulbs were the first alternative to incandescent bulbs, and they use only about 1/4 the energy of incandescent bulbs. They contain trace amounts of mercury, so they must be disposed of properly when they burn out.
LED bulbs are newer to the market. They’re more expensive than CFLs, but they last longer and don’t contain mercury.
Turn off the lights. This is the simplest, most common way to save electricity, and it really works. Start paying attention to how many lights are on in your house at a given time. Be mindful of how many lights you really need to be using at once. When you leave a room, make a habit of turning off the lights, every single time.
Use light bulbs which don’t need to «warm up» for areas that have lights which are used for short periods of time. This information should be written on the bulb’s packaging.
If you really want to go all out, have your family use just one or two rooms at night, rather than spreading out all over the house and keeping your entire home lit.
For maximum electricity savings, use candles! This old-fashioned system of providing light at night is effective, romantic and peaceful. If you don’t find it practical to use candles every night, try doing it just once or twice a week. Be careful doing this with little kids, though — make sure all of your family members know how to handle candles safely.
Unplug any appliances that aren’t in use. Did you know that appliances that are plugged in keep using energy, even when they’re switched off? Even an appliance as small as a coffee pot continues slowly sapping energy every moment it stays plugged in, long after the last cup of coffee has been consumed.
A power strip with a switch makes this easier. Instead of pulling 5 devices out of their sockets, all you have to do is flip a switch.
Power down your computer and unplug it at the end of the day. Computers use a lot of energy, and when they stay plugged in you’re wasting both energy and money.
Don’t leave your TV plugged in all the time. It may seem inconvenient to unplug it when you’re finished watching, but the savings are worth the trouble.
Unplug your sound system and speakers. These are some of the worst culprits when it comes to sapping extra energy when they aren’t in use.
Don’t forget small appliances such as phone chargers, kitchen appliances, hair dryers, and anything else you’ve got that runs on electricity.
Replace old appliances with energy-saving models. When older appliances were manufactured, companies weren’t as concerned with saving electricity. Newer models are designed to conserve energy, reducing your household costs and lowering your carbon footprint. If you have an older refrigerator, electric stove and oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer, or other large appliance, look into getting it replaced.
Look for «Energy Star» ratings on new appliances. These help you assess how much energy the appliance uses. Many energy-conserving appliances are more expensive than those that don’t have this feature, but you’ll earn the money back over time through electricity savings.
If replacing your appliances isn’t an option, there are still plenty of ways to change your routine so that you’re using as little electricity as possible.
Fill the dishwasher up before running it, rather than running a smaller load.
Don’t open the oven while it’s in use, since you release heat and the oven has to use extra energy to produce more.
Don’t stand at the refrigerator with the door open trying to decide what to eat. Open and close it as quickly as possible. You should also check the seals on your refrigerator and replace them when they get worn out.
Do full loads of laundry instead of small loads.
Reduce your reliance on appliances. In the old days people didn’t need large appliances to run their households; experiment with ways to use only what you really need. Using fewer appliances can make some tasks more time-consuming, but if you get the whole family involved you won’t be spending too much extra time on chores.
Most people wash their clothes more than necessary; try reducing the number of loads you do each week.
Hang a clothesline in the backyard and let your clothes line dry instead of using the dryer.
Wash your dishes by hand (using the water conservation method) instead of using the dishwasher.
Limit your baking to one day a week, during which you make several dishes within the same period of time. This way you won’t have to heat the oven over and over.
Get rid of small appliances you don’t really need, like plug-in air fresheners. Open the windows instead!
Insulate your home. Making sure there are good seals on the doors and windows leads to huge savings in energy costs. Insulation keeps your home from leaking cool air-conditioned air during the summer and warm heated air during the winter.
Have a contractor inspect your home’s insulation to determine whether it’s efficient enough. Consider the attic, crawlspaces, basement, walls and ceiling. You may want to look into fitting your home with new insulation.
Weather-strip your home by using caulk and weather strip in your doorways, windows and around window air conditioners. You can also purchase plastic sheeting to put over the windows during the winter.
Use less hot water. Heating water takes a lot of energy. It’s not necessary to take cold showers, but being mindful of how much hot water you use, and how the water is being heated, can save a lot of electricity and money.
Make sure your water heater is insulated so that it isn’t losing too much heat.
Consider getting a water heater that doesn’t run on a continuously lit pilot light.
Take showers instead of baths. Baths use a lot more water than showers.
Take shorter showers. Spending 20 minutes in the shower uses up a lot of electricity
Use the air conditioner less frequently. Sometimes it’s unavoidable to use the air conditioner, but there’s no reason to have it on from the beginning of spring to the end of the summer without ever turning it off. Find other ways to cool yourself down when possible.
Keep your home at a low temperature during the winter. You save a lot of energy and money by keeping your home a few degrees lower than normal during the winter. If you get cold, put on a sweater instead of turning up the thermostat.
Use renewable energy. Look into getting your energy from a company that uses renewable energy, such as wind or solar energy. Many companies that provide this service are small, so you may have to seek them out. The switch-over may be expensive at first, but you’ll save money over time.