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1. Turn off lights when you’re not using them.
Yes, this is a simple one, but it’s something many of us forget about from time to time. It’s the little things that add up.
2. Don’t window shop the fridge.
Refrigerators are one of the biggest energy users in our homes, so you want to make sure it’s operating efficiently. The quicker you get in and out, the colder your refrigerator will stay without having to use extra energy. Remember to vacuum the refrigerator coils and defrost if necessary. Also, keeping the fridge and freezer stocked will help conserve a bit of energy as well.
3. What’s your water heater set on?
Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees. You won’t need it any hotter than that for a shower (ouch!), and it’s a big energy-drain if it’s much higher than that.
4. What about lighting?
It’s best to use natural light when at all possible, so open the curtains and raise the blinds! Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with the higher efficient fluorescent bulbs can also help because they use less than half the amount of energy! These bulbs do cost quite a bit more to purchase, but they last longer which will save you money in the long run.
Keeping your air filters clean is a great way to save some money. Dust and dirt can hinder air flow, so keeping them clean will help.
6. Use a fan, or open a window.
If the weather is nice, open the windows and let the breeze flow through the house. Using a fan will also help the room you’re in feel cooler, but leaving it on while you are gone is pointless. It’s not like the air conditioning unit, and it won’t keep it much cooler while you’re not in the room. Fans basically cool us off, not the room.
7. Wash cold, and air dry.
Wash your laundry in cold water if at all possible, and then hang it outside on the line to dry. Keep in mind this requires good weather, and if you or your kids have allergies it may not be a possibility because allergens can get onto your clothes.
8. Get rid of the less known energy-suckers.
A few things are sucking energy from your home and you may not even realize it: TVs, VCRs, computers, and even microwaves. If you plug these items into power strips instead of the wall, you can turn the entire strip off between uses instead of having to unplug everything each time.
9. Apply weather stripping.
Some houses, especially older ones, tend to let cool air escape in the summer (and let cold air in, in the winter). Weather stripping can not only save you lots of cash, it can also conserve major energy.
10. Use a Crock Pot.
It may seem like a crock pot would use a lot of energy, since it’s on all day, but it’s usually cooking at a low temperature so it’s not going to heat your entire kitchen up like your stove and oven do.