With our dollars stretched thin and climate change upon us, household energy efficiency is more important than ever.
Cutting back on energy consumption and bills — along with the greenhouse gases that often accompany energy use — doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are some household energy efficiency tips to get started.
Adjust the thermostat
Every one degree Celsius that you lower your thermostat saves you two per cent on your energy bill. It’s not a fortune, but why not use the $50 or $60 you save for a family outing instead of putting it in your energy supplier’s bank account? Remember in particular to lower the thermostat when you go to bed or when the house is empty.
Max out your stove
Check your oven door seal to ensure expensive heat is not escaping. Except when baking, there’s no need to wait until the oven has hit operating temperature to put food in it; the food will warm as the oven does and reduce cooking time. Remember to turn off the oven a few minutes before cooking is completely finished; the remaining heat will finish the job for you.
Washing machine smarts
For greater household energy efficiency, wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. If that doesn’t work, wash in warm water and rinse in cold; you’ll use only half the energy compared to washing and rinsing in hot water.
Maintaining your washer can extend its life and improve its performance, saving you money in the process.
Dryer tips for household energy efficiency
Cleaning the lint trap every time you use the appliance not only reduces the risk of a dryer fire, it maximizes efficiency by improving air flow.
Put all your thin, fast-drying items in the same load so you can reduce drying time. Better yet, why not use a clothesline whenever you can? It slashes energy consumption, saves the expense and waste of dryer sheets, gets you outside, and makes your clothes smell naturally fresh.
If you haven’t already done so, switch to energy-miser LED Christmas lighting. This move to household energy efficiency will pay for itself in two holiday seasons or less.
When it’s time to replace those household electronic devices like fridges, stoves and dryers, insist on Energy Star models.
They are big energy savers.
For example, an Energy Star television uses 25 per cent less energy than a standard model.
Power thieves & household energy efficiency
Computers, gaming units, microwave ovens and other electronics consume power even when turned off because they remain in “standby” mode. That can add five to 10 per cent to your household electrical bill. Save unnecessary expense by plugging them into power bars and turning off the bars when the devices are not in use. Learn more here.
Source: Energy Star. More ideas on saving energy.