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How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Tips for conserving electricity and cutting your energy costsFollow these energy-saving tips to help fight air pollution, global warming and your skyrocketing electric or natural gas bill.
By making energy-efficient choices you can save electricity and money without giving up the comforts of home -- whether you rent an apartment, own a home or live with your parents!
Easy Energy-Saving Habits (Free!)
Don't forget the basics. This simple stuff will save energy -- and money --
Easy tips you can do it ! ...
- Unplug seldom-used appliances, like an extra refrigerator in the basement or garage that contains just a few items. You may save around $10 every month on your utility bill.
- Unplug your chargers when you're not charging. Every house is full of little plastic power supplies to charge cell phones, PDA's, digital cameras, cordless tools and other personal gadgets. Keep them unplugged until you need them.
- Use power strips to switch off televisions, home theater equipment, and stereos when you're not using them. Even when you think these products are off, together, their "standby" consumption can be equivalent to that of a 75 or 100 watt light bulb running continuously.
2. Set Computers to Sleep and Hibernate
- Enable the "sleep mode" feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu.
your computer to "hibernate" automatically after 30 minutes or
so of inactivity. The "hibernate mode" turns the computer off
in a way that doesn't require you to reload everything when you switch it
back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more
time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from
scratch. When you're done for the day, shut down.
3. Take Control of Temperature
- Set your thermostat in winter to 68 degrees or less during the daytime, and 55 degrees before going to sleep (or when you're away for the day). During the summer, set thermostats to 78 degrees or more.
- Use sunlight wisely. During the heating season, leave shades and blinds open on sunny days, but close them at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. Close shades and blinds during the summer or when the air conditioner is in use or will be in use later in the day.
- Set the
thermostat on your water heater between 120 and 130 degrees. Lower
temperatures can save more energy, but you might run out of hot water or
end up using extra electricity to boost the hot water temperature in your
4. Use Appliances Efficiently
- Set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit; your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Use the power-save switch if your fridge has one, and make sure the door seals tightly. You can check this by making sure that a dollar bill closed in between the door gaskets is difficult to pull out. If it slides easily between the gaskets, replace them.
- Don't preheat or "peek" inside the oven more than necessary. Check the seal on the oven door, and use a microwave oven for cooking or reheating small items.
- Wash only full loads in your dishwasher, using short cycles for all but the dirtiest dishes. This saves water and the energy used to pump and heat it. Air-drying, if you have the time, can also reduce energy use.
- In your clothes washer, set the appropriate water level for the size of the load; wash in cold water when practical, and always rinse in cold.
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer after each use. Dry heavy and light fabrics separately and don't add wet items to a load that's already partly dry. If available, use the moisture sensor setting. (A clothesline is the most energy-efficient clothes dryer of all!)
Turn Out the Lights
- Don't forget to flick the switch when you leave a room.
- Remember this at the office, too. Turn out or dim the lights in unused conference rooms, and when you step out for lunch. Work by daylight when possible. A typical commercial building uses more energy for lighting than anything else.
The gaps around the windows and doors in an average American house are the equivalent of a 3 foot by 3 foot hole in the wall! Caulk and weather-strip to seal off these air leaks.
- Stop air from escaping under doors with "sweeps" or "shoes" attached to the bottom.
- Use window putty to seal gaps around loose window panes.
- Cover bare floors with padded rugs for added insulation.
- Look for other air leaks you can seal, such as those around plumbing penetrations or ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures.
- Better yet, call an energy rater who can test your house for hidden leaks with a "blower door." (See the section on long-term energy efficiency for details.)
2. Compact fluorescent bulbs
Lighting accounts for about 15 percent of household energy use. If you swap the five standard light bulbs you use most for energy-saving compact fluorescents, you can save roughly $60 each year on electricity. Make sure you use EnergyStar compact fluorescents, which are tested for quality and longevity.
3. Water Heater Blankets
Bundle up your water heater, especially if it's located in an unheated part of the house.
4. Fresh Filters
Keep your air-conditioning and heating systems properly maintained by changing air filters and keeping air conditioner coils clean.
5. Low-Flow Showerheads and Faucet Aerators
Replacing old models with new low-flow designs prevents the energy used to heat water from going down the drain.
This is how electric come from - Why we have to save it ...
If you're thinking of making major changes around the house, keep these tips
in mind for big energy (and dollar) savings in the long run.
Long-Term Energy Efficiency ($$)
1. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Many of today's new appliances use half the energy of those from 20 years ago. If you're in the market, remember this rule of thumb: look for products with the Energy Star® label -- they typically use about 20 to 40 percent less energy than other new models. Some electric companies and even state governments offer consumer rebates on Energy Star-rated models. For detailed information on how to make informed purchases, see our guide to energy-efficient appliances.
· Insulate Your HomeMost homes in the United States are less than optimally insulated, and older homes tend to have higher heating and cooling costs than newer homes. Installing proper insulation, windows, ducts and heating/cooling systems can help keep these costs down while improving the comfort of your home.
What follows is a generic guide to retrofitting your home with energy-efficient features. However, the best way to learn about the specific needs of your home is to get an energy rating.
An energy rater will conduct a detailed analysis of your home and identify areas where you can make cost-effective improvements in energy efficiency. Californians can arrange a visit from an energy-rater through CHEERS, the statewide nonprofit. Residents of other states can find a list of certified raters by area through RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network.
To get an idea of what efficiency measures might make sense for your home, start with the Department of Energy's Insulation Fact Sheet to determine what type of insulation is best suited to your house and your climate. Then, follow these general guidelines:
- Start with the attic. Good insulation here can save 20 to 35 percent in heating and air conditioning costs.
- Insulate under the floor, around hot water pipes and heating ducts, and in crawl spaces for further energy savings.
- Install new windows that meet or exceed EnergyStar specifications. These windows keep heat from escaping, and in hot climates, keep out half of the sun's heat energy. They also reduce noise. The U-factor, listed on the National Fenestration Council label, reflects the insulation ability of the entire window, not just the glass. Look for a U-factor of 0.35 or lower. For homes with overheating problems or with high air conditioning bills, you should also look for a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of .35 or lower.
· Choose Renewable EnergyMany consumers now have the power to choose their own energy supplier. If you have a choice, pick a supplier that uses renewable power resources, like solar, wind, low-impact hydroelectric, or geothermal. Find out if your state offers electric choice by using Green-e's Pick Your Power website, a state-by-state guide to green energy options.
In some states, instead of choosing a specific electricity supplier, you can support renewable energy by paying a small premium on your electric bill. If those options are not available in your area and you've already implemented the other energy-saving suggestions in this guide, you could look into purchasing carbon offsets to counterbalance your energy consumption.
Ref : NRDC