Fifty One (51) Energy Saving Tips

Saving money! one of my favorite topics ūüôā After all, who doesn’t like having a little extra in the budget?energy savingThe following is a list of a few of my favorite tips and tweaks that will help you to save a few dollars – before you know it, you will have enough money to take that vacation to Jamaica!

This chart shows how much energy a typical appliance uses per year.

This chart shows how much energy a typical appliance uses per year. Source

  1. Did you know that your microwave and toaster ovens use one-third to one-half as much energy as cooking with your conventional oven? Well now that you do, why not use them to cook or warm leftovers? You are welcome:)
  2. Does your refrigerator have a power save switch? Use it! Otherwise, set the ‘fridge¬†temperature between 35 and 38¬įF. And while you are at it, do you really need the¬†second fridge located in the¬†garage? Why not donate it to a worthy charity. (Tax write off) After all, most of these¬†appliances are often in disrepair – the seals need to be repaired, they are poorly insulated and they are not ENERGY STAR¬ģ efficient. They are costing you money! Scrap ’em. In fact, if the budget permits, consider replacing refrigerators with models that are¬†ENERGY STAR¬ģ efficient. You will be saving money and the environment – win, win.
  3. Next time you do spring cleaning – and a few other times in between – Check the coils behind the refrigerator ‚ÄĒ and use coil vacuums or dusters to clean it.
  4. There are two ways to conserve¬†energy when¬†doing laundry‚ÄĒuse less water and use cooler water. The warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. However, if you¬†are¬†dealing with oily stains, then you will need the hot water setting – but how often does that happen?
  5. Have you tried using cold-water detergents to wash your clothes in cold water? Try it.
  6. Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting. Although there are some nifty machines out there that will sense the size of the load and add water accordingly – how cool!
  7. Try no to over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
  8. Dry towels and heavier fabrics in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  9. Clean the lint trap/screen in the dryer after every load.  In addition to improving air circulation and keeping your dryer running efficiently, it also prevents fire hazards.
  10. And another spring cleaning chore Рuse the long nozzle tip on your vacuum cleaner to remove the lint that collects in the lint trap of your clothes dryer.
  11. Vent your dryer to the outside. Doing so will reduce the workload on your air conditioner.
  12. Remember the days when people would hang their clothes on a clothesline outside – yes, it was a thing – how about doing that again. Use the sun’s energy – its free! Although I did this and my HOA was not pleased.¬† If this is not an option, try¬†hanging clothing to air dry on portable laundry racks Indoors.
  13. Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the heat remaining in the dryer.
  14. If you have a front-loading washer or high-efficiency top-loader, use detergent labeled for high-efficiency (HE) machines. According to the American Cleaning Institute, HE detergents are low-sudsing and quick-dispersing to clean well in high-efficiency washers that use less water.
  15. Wash and dry several loads at once, so that your dryer isn’t completely cooled down when it heats up for the next load.
  16. The soaking or pre-washing feature of your dishwasher is only recommended in cases of burned- or dried-on food, so, if you scrape large food pieces from your plates, you can save energy by skipping pre-washing. You can do it, put your back into…¬† ūüėÜ
  17. Do not over load your dishwasher. But, be sure it’s¬†full when you run it.
  18. The “rinse hold” feature on your dishwasher¬†uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use. ¬†Avoid using it if you are only¬†cleaning a¬†few soiled dishes.
  19. Let your dishes air dry; if you do not have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.
  20. Did you know that dishwashers purchased before 1994 use more than 10 gallons of water per cycle? If you choose to upgrade, look at the energy ratings to find one that uses less water and energy. The newer dishwashers are required to use 4.25 gallons of water per cycle or less.
  21. The temperatures in your oven can drop by as many as 25 degrees each time you open the oven door. Рyes, I know! Keep the oven door closed while cooking!
  22. Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; The cleaner they are, the better they reflect heat. Plus, who wants to look at a dirty range top – not cute!
  23. Boiling water for a spot of tea? Use an¬†electric kettle; it’s faster and uses less energy.
  24. The future is here! Use “smart” appliances!¬†Some manufacturers are offering appliances that can be connected to smart electric meters or home energy management systems to help you shift your electricity use to off-peak hours. When you are upgrading your air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers¬†etc¬†choose the smart appliance option – if your budget permits, that is.

    Smart Appliances

    Smart Appliances Image source

  25. Is your¬† water heater more than 7 years old? It’s best to start shopping for a new one. I know, water heaters typically last between 10 to 15 years. But, doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs. When doing your research consider purchasing a new energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance.
  26. If you choose to purchase a new water heater, consider natural gas on-demand or tankless water heaters, which heat water directly without using a storage tank. Researchers have found energy savings can be up to 30% compared with a standard natural gas storage tank water heater.

    The anatomy of a Tankless Water Heater

    The anatomy of a Tankless Water Heater

  27. While you are mulling whether or not to upgrade your water heater, you should set the thermostat on your water heater to 120¬įF to get comfortable hot water for most uses.
  28. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank but PLEASE be careful not to cover the thermostat.
  29. If you have a natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank you should Insulate it. But be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. You know what, get professional help! Better to be safe than sorry ūüė≥
  30. Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
  31. Install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater to prevent heat loss.
  32. Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. Check your manual for instructions on how to complete this task.
  33. Install aerating, low-flow faucets and shower heads.
  34. Is your faucet leaking? Fix it now! A leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time. That’s literally money down the drain.
  35. Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.

    Hybrid Thermostat

    Hybrid Thermostat

  36. Turn it off! If you are leaving a room, turn off things such as your computer and monitor, the lights, TVs, entertainment systems…
  37. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and Blu Ray players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use — although they maybe in standby mode, they¬† still use several watts of power.
  38. Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home. (I wish my son would listen to this advise – but I digress ūüėȬ†)
  39. Set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer, and — depending on the season — raise or lower the setpoint when you’re sleeping or away from home.
  40. Clean or replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners as recommended by the manufacturer.
  41. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Decorate around them, do not block them with furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  42. Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
  43. Is it time to replace your exhaust fans? Installing high-efficiency, low-noise models will save energy. For additional savings, turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing.
  44. During winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day. This will allow the sunlight to enter your home. Keep them closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. During summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.
  45. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. So, in the summer, set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible.
  46. Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  47. Use an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
  48. Do not place appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.
  49. Do you have an old air conditioner? If the budget permits, purchase an energy-efficient model. They are  10% Р15% more efficient than standard models.
  50. Replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that are energy efficient can save you $75 each year.
  51. Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.
How we use energy in our homes. Heating accounts for the biggest portion of your utility bills. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, AEO2014 Early Release Overview.

Heating accounts for the biggest portion of your utility bills. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, AEO2014 Early Release Overview.