Solutions for your energy crisis
With energy costs on the rise, it’s always nice to find some simple ways to lower your bills. We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips and suggestions for keeping your energy costs as low as they can be.
- Call your power company to find out if they offer discounts during off-peak hours, and find out what those hours are if they do. If you do have access to an off-peak rate, run your dishwasher and do your laundry during those times whenever possible.
- Speaking of laundry, according to LG Electronics, heating the water in the wash drum accounts for about 90% of the energy a washing machine uses.1 Switching to cold water will drop your energy consumption considerably. As for drying your clothes, if you don’t need an item of clothing right away, consider hanging it to air dry. Even towels and sheets can be dried inside on clothing racks if you don’t have access to an outdoor clothesline. As an added bonus, your clothes may last a little longer without the regular wear and tear of machine drying.
- Beware of vampire power. According to DoSomething.org, 10% of all the electricity used in your home is wasted on vampire power—power that is drawn when appliances and electronic devices are turned off, but still plugged in. Unplug televisions, video games, laptops, DVD players and cell phone chargers when they are not actually in use. If you plug them all into surge-protecting power strips, you can simply flip the switch and cut power to a number of your devices all at once.
- Turn your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and bring out all those cozy knitted woolies you’ve been keeping in storage. Likewise, in the summer turn the thermostat up a few degrees.
- Change your furnace and dryer filters regularly. Clean filters help your furnace and dryer work at peak efficiency, and a clean lint filter in your dryer also helps reduce the risk of fire.
- When cooking, check the food by peering in the window rather than opening the oven door whenever possible. The temperature in your oven can drop by as much as 25 degrees when you open the door, making cooking times—and oven usage—longer.2
- Use your blinds and drapes. They’re more than just a pretty accessory—they can actually help you save money. Close the drapes to keep sun’s heat out during the summer, and open them to gather all that lovely free warmth during the winter.
- Install water-saving showerheads. When hunting for a replacement, find showerheads that are rated to use no more than 1.5 gallons of water per minute.
- When you’re making your afternoon cuppa, only fill the kettle with the amount of water you actually need rather than filling it up all the way to the top. Consider switching to an electric kettle which may use up to 70% less energy.3
- Check your house for draughts and seal up any holes and leaks. As your dad probably told you a million times growing up, you can’t afford to heat (or cool) the entire neighborhood.
and This Old House for more great energy-saving tips and quick fixes to help get those energy bills under control.