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Conserve Energy in Your Home and Vehicle With These 10 Tips
Do you realize that you have the power to lower the energy demand in your own home as well as in the whole United States! The different type of energy sources such as coal and gas can be lower and decrease the greenhouse gas which helps keep the air fresher for all of us plus help cut your utility bills!
The US Department of Energy tells us that $ 1900-$2200 a year is what the average American family spends on their utilities for their home. Unfortunately, most of that energy is wasted. And 67% of the US oil consumption is used for transportation. On a positive note there is a lot that the family can do to save most of the energy waste and money in your home and with your transportation.
Here are some easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy that the US Dept. of Energy recommends.
1. Install a programmable thermostat. By installing the programmable thermostat it will help not only in keeping your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer. It is also helpful because you can program it to lower while you and your family are gone during the day and then to turn back on when the family is scheduled to return home for the evening hours or even on short trips.
2. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Making the switch to compact fluorescent light bulb will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than a regular wattage light bulb.
3. Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle. The convenience of using a dishwasher in most households makes the decision of using it outweighs the knowledge of the cost it takes to run one. However, a great way to help with savings is to turn the dishwasher to an air dry system or simply open the door after the wash cycle. You might have to deal with spotty glasses but a quick wipe with a towel and you are ready to go.
4. Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use. There is a debate about if turning the computer and monitor on and off during the day really helps in the savings of electricity and the pocketbook. The US Department of Energy says that if the monitor on your PC will not be used for more than 20 minutes to shut it off. Also, if your tower and monitor will not be used for 2 hours shutting it down will help with your electric bill.
5. Plug home electronics into power strips. Make sure your home electronics such as TV’s, DVD players, DVR’s, monitors, and other accessories are on a power strip/surge protector. This is also wise to do with your computers and printers. When this equipment is not in use for extended periods, turn off the switch on the power strip to prevent them from drawing power even if the machine is turned off. If you don’t use a power strip, unplug extra equipment when it’s not in use.
6. Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F. You can reduce your water heating costs by simply lowering the thermostat setting on your water heater. For each 10ºF reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3%-5% in energy costs. The US Department of Energy recommends that homes have their hot water thermostats set at 120ºF.
7. Take short showers instead of baths. Taking a short 5 to 10 minute shower uses less water than a full bath tub. Also, showering during the warmest part of the day and use cooler water is a great way to reduce hot water consumption.
8. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. For a savings of 300 to 800 gallons of water a month, wash laundry and dishes only when the machine is full. If you must wash small loads of laundry lower the level of the water setting to a lower level. For a small amount of dishes wash them in the sink or a dish pan and rinse in a pan of hot water.
9. Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration and braking wastes gasoline. Any time that the brake or gas pedal is touched makes the fuel in your car turn into heat energy. So when you rapidly accelerate extra gas floods the engine causing waste and then slamming on the brake also waste the energy used to get the speed up.
10. Look for the Energy Star label on home appliances and products. Energy Star products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. On all my other points I tried to suggest free ways to help with energy savings. However, if you have very old appliances it might be the time to invest in new products. Perhaps using some of your tax return to upgrade might be a wise decision for your household.
With the economy the way it is I hope that these tips help you and your family save a little bit of money and relieve some of the utility bill pressures.
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