Energy Conservation Is Not Only Good for the Planet, but Also Your Wallet
Saving money is as simple as conserving energy and let’s face it — everyone wants to save some dough. The environment is usually just seen as a nice side bonus. Both the environmental and financial savings are not insignificant either; over a year, conserving energy can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, per household. But, saving money starts with you, and you need to take the first step, even if it’s just changing a light bulb.
1. Change the light bulbs in all of your household’s light fixtures from incandescent light bulb to compact fluorescent bulbs.(CFL). CFLs use 70 percent less energy and produce 90 percent less heat than incandescent light bulbs. Just switching the light bulbs will save you money in electricity costs and cooling costs.
2. Plant a tree. Trees produce shade. By planting trees around your house, the shade reduces the cost of cooling your house in summer. Plus, planting trees benefits the environment.
3. Replace old appliances, such as water heaters, dryers, washers, and refrigerators. Old appliances consume more energy for two reasons. They’re dated with older technology and the appliances often have things wrong with them, which causes them to use more energy.
4. Embrace technology. When in the market for new appliances and electronic gadgets, choose an energy star variety. Energy star gadgets meet strict energy usage requirements.
5. Put your computer to sleep. Your computer uses less energy in sleep mode, so set your computer and laptops to “go to sleep” after five or ten minutes of inactivity. When you’re done, turn them off.
6. Eliminate leaks. Heating and cooling costs rise when air escapes through gaps along windows and under doors. You might just need to repair the window by caulking, sealing and weather-stripping around the windows and other openings. For older homes, you should replace the windows with energy efficient.ones. Door wedges and other on market items reduce drafts from under doors. If your outside doors don’t fit well, consider purchasing new exterior doors..
7. Keep a full refrigerator and freezer. Although keeping your refrigerator and freezer full seems like an odd way to save money, these appliances work more efficiently when filled with foods. Think about it. When your freezer is full, the food stuffs touch and assist in reducing the energy needed to maintain a low temperature. Bottles filled with water can be stuffed into the appliances instead of food stuffs.
8. Install a thermostat and use it. Turn the thermostat down in winter and turn it up in summer when you leave the house for more than four hours. Your utility bill will reduce by 10 to 20 percent just by using this method.
9. Unplug appliances when not in use. Unplugging every appliance, such as DVD players and VCRs, modems, cable TV boxes, cordless phones, stereos, radios, coffeemakers. lamps, toasters and electronic gadgets. The Department of Energy says unplugging appliances saves 5 to 10 percent of energy per year. This results in about a yearly savings of about $250.
Reducing the amount of energy your household uses will save you money and the environment. If you can unscrew a light bulb, you can reduce the energy consumed by your house each year. Soon, you’ll be wondering where you can spend the extra cash.
Natasha Risinger is a dedicated conservationist. She writes about going green and saving energy for a number of eco blogs. Visit Texas Electricity Providers for more information.