Your home is probably full of appliances that you need for daily use, and they most likely require a great deal of energy to run. Excessive energy use is not good for the environment, and it also jacks up that dreaded electricity bill. Some of this energy cost is of course unavoidable, but there are simple changes you can make to decrease it. Continue reading to learn some basic tips to reduce your energy costs!
Refrigerator: This is usually the biggest culprit of energy use in the home. Adjust the temperature settings so that the fridge and the freezer are in a reasonable zone and not too cold. The fridge range is about 37° to 40°F and freezer range is 0° to 5°F.
Make sure to allow hot foods to cool completely before placing them in the refrigerator, as hot food will raise the inner temperature of the unit and make it work harder. Also be sure to cover liquids, as excessive moisture also puts added strain on the cooling system.
Keep the fridge full, but not over stuffed. A full unit holds in the cold better and requires less energy. However, an overly full unit can mess up the air flow.
Minimize the amount of times the refrigerator door is opened throughout the day. Only open it when you know what you need, and never leave it open for longer than necessary. Avoid “window shopping” when it comes to finding food in your fridge.
Washer/Dryer: When washing your clothes, run larger loads instead of several smaller loads. Many of these appliances use nearly the same amount of energy whether the loads are very small or large, so you should actively try to get the most out of each wash cycle.
Use the cold water option whenever possible. Things that say they should be washed in hot water should still be washed in hot water for cleanliness purposes, but many other things can be washed in cold. A lot of energy use comes from using hot water.
Sort your laundry before putting it through a cleaning cycle. Similar fabric materials will wash and dry at a similar rate, so you can avoid having things come out of a load not all the way clean or not all the way dry, and having to re-run them.
Keep the dryer’s exhaust clean, and be sure to clean the lint trap after each load. A clogged filter or lint trap drastically decreases the dryer’s efficiency and therefore, its effectiveness. Try drying your clothes on a clothesline whenever possible.
Oven/Stove: Be sure to use the correct sized pots and pans for the burners on your stove, and use tight fitting lids. The right size pans will absorb more energy and require less extra heat, and the proper lids help to trap even more heat.
If you are simply reheating food, opt for using the microwave instead. Microwaves are anywhere from 33-66% (depending on the particular model) more efficient than ovens. Microwaves are faster and use much less energy.
Avoid peeking into the oven. Every time the door is opened, even for a few seconds, the internal temperature decreases quite a bit and the oven has to work harder to regain that temperature. When pre-heating the oven, do it right before you need it and then be sure to turn the oven off as soon as the food is done. Leaving the oven or stove on for any unnecessary time is a waste of energy.
With all of your appliances, make sure the internal and external surfaces are free of build-up and kept well maintained. A clean appliance is always more efficient!
There is so much you can do for no money at all to keep your energy use reasonable, so give these tips a try! By just keeping these few simple tricks in mind, you can save a surprising amount on your next electricity bill.
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