Whether you’re hoping to ease your impact on the planet or just want to save a few bucks, reducing energy use can help you get there. When you use less energy, you not only reduce energy costs–you reduce energy consumption as a whole. And by reducing your energy consumption, you put yourself on-track for living a sustainable, frugal and efficient life. Follow these tips to reduce energy costs this summer:
Air conditioning is by far one of the most energy-consumptive amenities to have in your home. While air conditioning is beneficial to have in certain climates, there are certainly plenty of instances of energy waste involved with A/C.
To curb your energy use, take a few first steps before turning on the A/C. Closing blinds and drapes can help cool your apartment significantly, as direct sunlight is the main generator of indoor heat. By keeping your blinds and windows closed during the day, you will keep hot air from invading your space. By the time the sun sets and the outside air has cooled, you can open your windows and let the gentle evening breeze flow through your space, which will cool and circulate your air.
If doing this still doesn’t provide sufficient cool, it may be time to turn on the air conditioning. Just don’t go crazy: Keep your indoor temperature at a reasonable number, such as 76-77 degrees. This will keep your apartment comfortable and your energy bill manageable. Line the bottoms of doorways with towels to keep cool air in, and don’t open your windows.
Have you ever heard anyone say that if you want to talk to the original eco-friendly family, you should call your grandparents? There’s a lot of truth in that statement. When if comes to daily chores like clothing and dish washing, there are a lot of pros and cons to washing by hand. In general, washing clothing by hand is deemed to be more energy-efficient than using a washer/dryer. If you must use a washing machine, though, use cold water (no need to heat that water unless you’re washing your bed sheets, which need the heat to kill bacteria).
When it comes to washing dishes, things are a bit different. Can you imagine how much water you’d waste if you washed every dish by hand? By all means, clean the sporadic fork and knife manually, but when you have an entire load of dishes to wash, it’s much more efficient to use a dishwasher. Just make sure you don’t enable the heated dry feature, but instead, simply dry your dishes with a clean cloth before putting them away.
Appliances and Electronics
One of the simplest ways to cut down on energy waste is to unplug your appliances and electronics when they are not in use. You’ll save untold amounts of energy waste by doing so, and will in turn lower your electricity bill significantly. If you have applicants that are plugged into a power strip that must stay on at all times, you should at least ensure that these items are completely turned off when you’re not using them.