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These savings tips are not painful and will help your pocketbook while helping the environment.
By skibum1910 from Prospect, KY
Video game consoles use a lot of energy, and they waste a lot of energy when not being used. You will save 75% of that energy, if you turn them off when they're not being used. An easy way to do this is to plug one or more of the games into a power strip, and then just turn off the power strip when you're done playing.
Source: Pacific Power
By Lara from Portland, OR
I purchased white night lights that have an on/off switch from the dollar store, for all over our house. We find they put out plenty of light. For example in the bathroom, the light is fine to use the bathroom, brush our teeth, get dressed, etc. We then switch them off and use the brighter lights as necessary for combing hair, applying makeup, etc. Another example is in larger rooms, someone reading may use a brighter light to read by, and you could use a night light on the other side of the room where someone is watching TV or just relaxing.
I save on utility bills by air-drying virtually ALL of my laundry. In good weather, I use my backyard clothesline (my environmentally friendly solar-powered dryer!). In bad weather, I hang items on a sturdy wooden folding clothes rack I bought at an auction. Most of the folding clothes racks available in stores now are not as sturdy, but they will still work just fine for lightweight items.
My drying rack is in a spare room, but if space is tight in your house, you might want to set up the drying rack in your bathtub or shower, and let clothes dry all day until the tub is needed.
Once the clothes have air-dried, I toss them in the dryer for about 5 minutes to "fluff" and soften, using a dryer sheet -- I use the same dryer sheet for multiple loads. Even if the clothes are still a little wet when you have to take them off the rack, you have reduced the amount of time they will need in the dryer. Every little bit helps!
By Becki in Indiana
Saving money from your electrical bills by simply unplugging your appliances or turning off your surgers, especially if you have a digital TV. Turning off your surger that the digital TV is plugged into will save your TV life too. If you have your electrical switches in a convenient place, you can switch off your switches like your stove and heater. We save over $20.00 a month when we do all the above.
Sometimes it's okay not to listen to your mother. You can wear white any time of the year and leaving your air conditioner running when you're not home doesn't save money. Mom doesn't always have it right. Many of the old myths about home savings had some original validity, but in today's homes the myths are just wasting your money. Mom's two favorite adages focus on heating and cooling.
If you have a programmable thermostat, then you know the feeling of sudden warmth when the heat "kicks on" in the morning after being lowered all evening. It feels as if the furnace is working double duty to heat the room, therefore, it must be using more fuel. This sensory logic is faulty. As the thermostat allowed the house to cool at night it did so gradually, and your body adapted to the cooler temperature. Upon reheating, it demanded a quick warming of the room which resulted in a sudden burst of heat that your body wasn't prepared for, causing a faulty belief that the temperature is higher.
The same applies to air conditioning. Air conditioners exchange warm air for cool air on a continuing basis. How long does it take for the room to warm when the air turns off? By running the air conditioning while you're away you're keeping an empty room comfortable. However, when returning to a hot home people don't feel as if they've cooled down as they wait for the gradual exchange of the air in the room. Instead of waiting for the room to cool again, they'd rather pay extra cooling costs to keep the empty room cold and to walk into a refreshing climate the moment they arrive at home.
If stain removal is the goal, then hot water will do a better job on a soiled load than warm water. However, regain the cost of the hot water by rinsing the load in cold water. The rinse cycle temperature has nothing to do with the cleaning ability of clothes. If only a few items are stained, try applying a stain removal product to the affected area and wash in warm water instead. There's no savings if the load is broken into a smaller heavily stained load that is washed in hot water and a smaller lightly stained load that is washed in warm; you're using more water and electric to complete both loads than one hot water load. Also, when choosing your water temperature, keep in mind that water cools as it reaches the washer. The hot water that you paid to heat in your hot water heater will be somewhere between hot and warm when it reaches your clothes.
Even though fuel prices have dropped a bit, I still save as much as I can. I live in a hilly area. Whenever I can, I put my car in neutral and coast. I seem to be saving a few gallons every month, it adds up!
Here in CT, heating season is right around the corner! In my home, I have a programmable thermostat to save on heat during the times I don't need it. I also have a wood stove which I use every day during heating season. I throw on a log when I get home from work, and keep a fire burning until I go to bed. It really keeps the furnace from coming on very often. I get most of my wood for free.
I keep any rooms I don't use closed off so they don't take any of the heat. In A/C season, I do the same. This way, my home is comfortable, but I am saving fuel as well!
Similarly, reinvest in nightlights that are light-metered. It's only a watt of energy, but to leave a nightlight on during the day is wasting that watt. Allow them to turn on when needed, and leave them off otherwise.
By Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
The best thing you can do to reduce your cooling costs and protect your HVAC system is change your filter monthly. A dirty filter increases the energy needed to cool air, and it can damage equipment. Make it a point to change the filter when the month changes. Buy filters in bulk and label them by month to keep track, or buy one that is washable and reuse.
Source: My local TV Guide.
By Cinnamon from British Columbia
I just read this on "Earth Easy", great tips:
Line-drying your clothes will:
To save on high gas bills, I replaced the curtains on the Northwest side of my home with black 3 mil paper. The paper absorbs the heat from the sun and prevents the leaking of warm air inside to the outside. My solar project worked! Many of my neighbors gas bills went up 30%-50% we had a big increase in CCFs but mine decreased $5-$10 compared to the previous cheaper year! The black 3 mil paper cost less than $5 and easily paid itself back in less than a month! I will definitely be doing this again this fall!
By Amylucille from Fremont, OH
To help keep gas and electricity bills down, slow down your water when you take a shower. For some reason we think we need it on all the way. You can also turn your hot water tank down some till winter is over.
By April from Buffalo, NY
In your office, while not using your equipment (ex. fax machine, scanner, printer, etc.) keep these items turned off or in "sleep" mode, until ready to use and turn off immediately after each use. You'll save yourself several dollars a year on your power bill, plus extending the life of each machine.
Editor's Note: Some appliances draw power as long as they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. You can use a power consumption counter to determine how much power appliances are using on and off. We purchased one called "Kill A WATT" and have been trying it out on various appliances.
I got tired of finding unneeded lights on so we developed a penalty piggy bank for offenders in the family. Every time someone leaves a light on (that they no longer need,) and another family member notices, they have to put a nickel in the piggy bank (I have young children, you could use a dime, a quarter or whatever penalty you want.)
For the littlest member of the family, I gave him permission to turn off the light switches if they are on and no one is using them. Through this, we have increased the energy awareness in our household and I find far fewer lights left on. Because they have to pay it from their allowance, they seem to get the point a lot quicker.
Turn off the TV, computer and Xbox and pull out the board games for entertainment at least 2 times a week. Not only saves electricity but creates memorable experiences.
By Holly Dawson
Fluorescent tubes use as little as one fifth the energy of incandescent bulbs. This can add up to big energy savings over the course of a year.
We can make sure our tires are fully inflated, reducing gas consumption by 2 percent.
We can slow down to 65 miles per hour, reducing highway gas consumption by 15 percent
We can stop idling our cars in drive-through windows and school carpool lanes.
We can carpool for driving children to school, shopping, or going to work.
We can try to cut out extra trips by doing better planning for our errands and shopping.
We can turn off lights when they are not being used.
We can help conserve fuel by turning thermostats down.
We can weather-strip doors and windows.
We can buy energy-efficient fluorescent lightbulbs.
We can unplug cell phone chargers and hair dryers when not in use.
We can turn off our computers and printers when not in use.
We can research what appliances take energy even when they are not operating and turn off their power strip or unplug them when not in use.
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Here are questions related to Simple Things We Can Do To Save Energy.
Keeping our electric bill down is continually a challenge. We have had over 30 days over 100 this year. I keep a folder to store any tips I find in magazines. While cleaning the folder out last week, I came across a great article I would like to share about high tech's hidden cost. This is average annual energy cost for each item.
Source: This article I clipped was in Real Simple Magazine the April 2008 issue.
By Bobbie from Rockwall, TX
How much would you say you've saved in electric since unplugging?