Simple changes in your home can reduce your utility bills by 20% and reduce your overall impact on the environment. Here are some tips that can help you reduce energy and save money.
Throughout your home:
- Up to 75% of the electricity used by home electronics is consumed by products that are really “on” even though they are turned off! Use power bars with on/off switches for entertainment centers or computer equipment.
- Phantom power drain occurs when your electronics draw electricity even when they’re not in use. Unplug your toaster, hairdryer, TV and other electronics when not in use. This can save up to 20% on your home energy costs.
- Turn your thermostat down to about 15 degrees Celsius before bed, and when you leave your house for the day. You will save 10-15% on your total energy bill.
- Consider running your dishwasher and doing your laundry in the evenings to reduce the pressure on the power grid.
In your kitchen:
- Set your refrigerator and freezer to the most efficient temperatures: 2-3 degrees Celsius (35-37 degrees Fahrenheit) for fridges and -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) for freezers.
- Consider modernizing appliances as a modern ENERGY STAR® refrigerator uses two-thirds the electricity of a refrigerator that is 12 years old.
- Retire your second fridge. A full size fridge that’s 15 years or older costs $120 a year in energy. Need extra space for drinks? Consider an energy efficient bar fridge.
- Run your dishwasher full. Let dishes air-dry or use the economy setting. Don’t waste water prewashing or rinsing either; most dishwashers are up for the challenge.
- Using a microwave can save 75% in energy costs compared to a stove or oven.
In your laundry room:
- ENERGY STAR® clothes washers use 25% less energy than traditional models. Front loaders use 35 to 50% less energy and also save water and detergent.
- If you must wash in warm water, wrap any exposed pipes with insulation, especially where they are close to un-insulated walls.
- Up to 90% of the energy you use to wash clothes comes from heating the water. Wash all fabrics in cold water. You can save as much as $100 a year by changing to a cold water wash and rinse, and reduce 130 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Front-loading washing machines are superior to traditional top loaders for saving water and energy. In fact, your clothes will even wash and dry faster.
In your living room:
- LED-backlit displays consume less energy and can feature power-saving advanced dimming, making them the most efficient flat panel TVs today.
- ENERGY STAR® qualified TVs use about 30% less energy than conventional ones, no matter what the style or screen type.
In your office:
- Every computer turned off when not in use can save up to $75/year in energy costs.
- Laptops are more energy efficient than desk top computers.
- Screen savers do not save energy – in fact, they consume almost as much energy as when the computer’s in use. Turn off your computer to save money and energy.
- By shutting off a desktop computer with an LCD monitor at night you can save about 65%of the energy when left on 24/7.
- Turn off your monitor when it’s not in use. Monitors use up to 75% of the energy it takes to power a computer.
- Link your computer and accessories (printer, scanner, etc.) to a power bar and shut it off when not in use. Electronics continue to draw power even when they’re turned off (phantom power drain).