Monday, June 04, 2007
Saving Money Being Green
The Refrigerator: The fridge is easily the biggest electric hog in your house. Clean the coils on it every six months with a vacuum cleaner or bottle brush (unplug or or shut off the breaker first). Dust build up makes it run less efficiently. Set the fridge at 38-40 degrees and the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees.
A Bright Idea: Change your light bulbs to the compact flourescents. Yeah, they're more expensive initially, but even counting that you can save $60 in electricity over the life of the bulb. They also last much longer than an old-fashioned incandescent.
Use the Dishwasher: I was surprised to discover that, if you wait until the dishwasher is completely full, it is actually more energy efficient to use your dishwasher. Don't use the heated dry cycle of course. One article I read claims you can save 20 gallons of water a day by waiting until your dishwasher is full, and another 20 gallons a day just scraping, as most dishwashers these days don't require you to pre-rinse. And remember: your water heater or dishwasher heats all that hot water, which equals electricity. Less water use equals more savings.
Clean Your Dryer: Cleaning the lint trap on your dryer before every use will reduce your energy use up to 30%.
Lower the Thermostat: Just lowering your thermostat a couple of degrees will save a lot of energy, no matter how your home is heated. 68 degrees in winter and 72 in the summer is recommended. And remember, in the winter lower it a couple more degrees at night and snuggle under the blankets.
Air Up: Be sure your tires are properly inflated. Your car won't have to work as hard, and save you gas.
Turn It Off: There's lots of stuff you can turn off. Don't idle your car if you're just running in for a just second. Turn off lights , radios, and TV's when you're not in the room.
Fix leaks: A leaky faucet or toilet that always runs can waste a lot of water. Fix 'em! The most common causes are a gasket or flapper, and aren't at all hard to fix. If you're replacing fixtures, get low-flow ones. They're good enough that you may not even notice the difference. This is huge if you pay your own water bill, and even if you don't, you're heating all that nice hot shower water.
Grow It! There are lots of ways to grow your own food, even if you're in a small apartment. Seeds are not expensive and pots can be recycled containers. Plants clean our air, and the results are edible, how great is that?
Unplug: Power down appliances that have transformers like computers, televisions, VCRs and cell phone chargers when not in use. Try plugging them into a power strip and cut the supply when not in use. Those transformers draw standby power (remember how old television tubes had to warm up? Standby power eliminated that).
at 12:52 PM