While drying clothes there are also ways to save electric. The most obvious is to hang the clothes to dry rather than use the dryer. If this option doesn't work, try a compromise. Remove clothing from the dryer a few minutes before the cycle is complete and hang the clothes immediately. This saves a few minutes from the drying cycle, saving electric, and it allows the clothes to dry practically wrinkle free. In practicality, many people prefer to use a clothes dryer for all of their laundry loads rather than hanging clothing to dry. Save electric while using the dryer by running it continuously. As soon as one load is dry, replace it with a wet load and start the dryer. This eliminates the cool down/warm up time that elapses between loads and thus uses less electric.
While you're doing handy work around the house, check the furnace and have it cleaned as well. Vacuum baseboard heaters, thermostats, and other elements of heating devices. Built up dust and dirt prohibit them from working properly and allow them to eat up more electric. This includes the coils on the back of the refrigerator and water cooler. Clothes dryers which have clogged lint filters can use almost 30% more energy to dry a load of clothing than those with clean filters.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
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1. Set your computer to go to screen saver mode after 10 minutes of inactivity, and into sleep mode after half an hour. Most computers (at least the ones I've used, both Mac and PC) have automatic defaults to go to screen saver mode after half an hour and sleep after one to two hours. You'll save electricity if you have them go to the energy-saving modes sooner.
2. Turn off the TV. Not if you're watching it, of course, but if you're leaving it on just for comforting "white" noise, turn it off. Use a radio for slightly less energy, or open a window in fine weather and listen to crickets chirp or children playing. Have the TV on only when you are paying attention to it.
3. I used a timer-plug to regulate just one lamp in my apartment, so that people would think someone was here while I was on vacation for five days. Just using that, and pretty much nothing else, my electricity bill was $40 higher that month than the month before or the months since! ONLY use those timers if you can't find anyone to come to your house to check mail and turn the lights on for half an hour while they water your plants. It would've been cheaper just to let the lights stay on for the entire time I was away, than to have that little timer ticking away and draining my energy.
4. If you have (or can make) a water catchment system, use rainwater and greywater (used sink, dishwasher, and shower water) to water your lawn. Your lawn will stay green, and you won't be paying any extra to accomplish it. However, before trying this, use up any non-biodegradable soaps, detergents, and cleaning solvents. Use environmentally friendly options, or you'll wind up killing your lawn instead of enriching it.
5. Unscrew the light in your refrigerator and freezer, and any other lights that come on automatically when you open doors or push buttons. Also unplug appliances you're not using.
6. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Buying disposable feminine hygiene products may be cheaper in the short term ($5 for a box of 24, instead of $8 to $15 each), but over a lifetime you could save as much as $9,000 by using reusable cotton pads instead of disposables. Plus, you won't be filling a landfill with the complex, non-biodegradable polymers that are used in the making of the vast majority of feminine napkins and tampons. Plus, if you soak the pads in water and a little baking soda and tea tree oil before washing, you can use the water in your garden, and your plants will be the healthiest on the block.
I start with my heavy clothes (jeans, etc.) first, I hang them on the line while washing a lighter weight load, then hang those, and so on.
Then after half an hour or so, after they're all hung, I start taking them down, lighter clothes first, and eventually work my way up to the heavier ones. And allow them to finish drying in the dryer from 15 to 20 minutes per load.
I end up using the drier about 1 to 1 1/2 hours for 3 loads. Soft & wrinkle free! (Don't forget to use cold water too!)
Insulate behind outlets along exterior walls. Foam insulators are available at your local hardware store. For an extra energy saving kick (with a safety bonus), cover any unused outlets with plastic safety plugs meant for baby-proofing. It's amazing how much air comes in and around outlets and these are two easy, inexpensive ways to cut the air flow.
One more thing you can do while cooking is : do NOT add salt until after the water is already boiling as it takes longer for the salted water to boil.
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