Energy Saving Tips
20 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO CONSERVE ENERGY
Whenever you save energy, you not only save money, you also reduce the demand for such fossil fuels as coal, oil, and natural gas. Less burning of fossil fuels also means lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary contributor to global warming, and other pollutants.
You do not have to do without to achieve these savings. There is now an energy efficient alternative for almost every kind of appliance or light fixture. That means that consumers have a real choice and the power to change their energy use on a revolutionary scale.
The average American produces about 40,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. Together, we use nearly a million dollars worth of energy every minute, night and day, every day of the year. By exercising even a few of the following steps, you can cut your annual emissions by thousands of pounds and your energy bills by a significant amount!
1. Turn your refrigerator down. Refrigerators account for about 20% of Household electricity use. Use a thermometer to set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible. Make sure that its energy saver switch is turned on. Also, check the gaskets around your refrigerator/freezer doors to make sure they are clean and sealed tightly.
2. Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot. Switching from hot to warm for two loads per week can save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year if you have an electric water heater, or 150 pounds for a gas heater.
3. Make sure your dishwasher is full when you run it and use the energy saving setting, if available, to allow the dishes to air dry. You can also turn off the drying cycle manually. Not using heat in the drying cycle can save 20 percent of your dishwasher's total electricity use.
4. Turn down your water heater thermostat. Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 is usually fine. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 440 pounds for a gas heater. If every household turned its water heater thermostat down 20 degrees, we could prevent more than 45 million tons of annual CO2 emissions - the same amount emitted by the entire nations of Kuwait or Libya.
5. Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances. Look for the Energy Star Label - your assurance that the product saves energy and prevents pollution. Buy the product that is sized to your typical needs - not the biggest one available. Front loading washing machines will usually cut hot water use by 60 to 70% compared to typical machines. Replacing a typical 1973 refrigerator with a new energy-efficient model, saves 1.4 tons of CO2 per year. Investing in a solar water heater can save 4.9 tons of CO2 annually.
Home Heating and Cooling
6. Be careful not to overheat or overcool rooms. In the winter, set your thermostat at 68 degrees in daytime, and 55 degrees at night. In the summer, keep it at 78. Lowering your thermostat just two degrees during winter saves 6 percent of heating-related CO2 emissions. That's a reduction of 420 pounds of CO2 per year for a typical home.
7. Clean or replace air filters as recommended. Energy is lost when air conditioners and hot-air furnaces have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters. Cleaning a dirty air conditioner filter can save 5 percent of the energy used. That could save 175 pounds of CO2 per year.
Small investments that pay off
8. Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most-used lights. Although they cost more initially, they save money in the long run by using only 1/4 the energy of an ordinary incandescent bulb and lasting 8-12 times longer. They provide an equivalent amount of bright, attractive light. Only 10% of the energy consumed by a normal light bulb generates light. The rest just makes the bulb hot. If every American household replaced one of its standard light bulbs with an energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb, we would save the same amount of energy as a large nuclear power plant produces in one year. In a typical home, one compact fluorescent bulb can save 260 pounds of CO2 per year.
9. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket, which costs just $10 to $20. It can save 1100 lbs. of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 220 pounds for a gas heater.
10.Use less hot water by installing low-flow shower heads. They cost just $10 to $20 each, deliver an invigorating shower, and save 300 pounds of CO2 per year for electrically heated water, or 80 pounds for gas-heated water.
11.Weatherize your home or apartment, using caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors and windows. Caulking costs less than $1 per window, and weather stripping is under $10 per door. These steps can save up to 1100 pounds of CO2 per year for a typical home. Ask your utility company for a home energy audit to find out where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. This service may be provided free or at low cost. Make sure it includes a check of your furnace and air conditioning.
12.Whenever possible, walk, bike, car pool, or use mass transit. Every gallon of gasoline you save avoids 22 pounds of CO2 emissions. If your car gets 25 miles per gallon, for example, and you reduce your annual driving from 12,000 to 10,000 miles, you'll save 1800 pounds of CO2.
13.When you next buy a car, choose one that gets good mileage. If your new car gets 40 miles per gallon instead of 25, and you drive 10,000 miles per year, you'll reduce your annual CO2 emissions by 3,300 pounds.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
14.Reduce the amount of waste you produce by buying minimally packaged goods, choosing reusable products over disposable ones, and recycling. For every pound of waste you eliminate or recycle, you save energy and reduce emissions of CO2 by at least 1 pound. Cutting down your garbage by half of one large trash bag per week saves at least 1100 pounds of CO2 per year. Making products with recycled materials, instead of from scratch with raw materials, uses 30 to 55% less for paper products, 33% less for glass, and a whopping 90% less for aluminum.
15.If your car has an air conditioner, make sure its coolant is recovered and recycled whenever you have it serviced. In the United States, leakage from auto air conditioners is the largest single source of emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which damage the ozone layer as well as add to global warming. The CFCs from one auto air conditioner can add the equivalent of 4800 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
Home Improvements. When you plan major home improvements, consider some of these energy saving investments. They save money in the long run, and their CO2 savings can often be measured in tons per year.
16.Insulate your walls and ceilings. This can save 20 to 30 percent of home heating bills and reduce CO2 emissions by 140 to 2100 pounds per year. If you live in a colder climate, consider superinsulating. That can save 5.5 tons of CO2 per year for gas-heated homes, 8.8 tons per year for oil heat, or 23 tons per year for electric heat. (If you have electric heat, you might also consider switching to more efficient gas or oil.)
17.Modernize your windows. Replacing all your ordinary windows with argon filled, double-glazed windows saves 2.4 tons of CO2 per year for homes with gas heat, 3.9 tons of oil heat, and 9.8 tons for electric heat.
18.Plant shade trees and paint your house a light color if you live in a warm climate, or a dark color if you live in a cold climate. Reductions in energy use resulting from shade trees and appropriate painting can save up to 2.4 tons of CO2 emissions per year. (Each tree also directly absorbs about 25 pounds of CO2 from the air annually.)
Business and community
19.Work with your employer to implement these and other energy-efficiency and waste-reduction measures in your office or workplace. Form or join local citizens' groups and work with local government officials to see that these measures are taken in schools and public buildings.
20.Keep track of the environmental voting records of candidates for office. Stay abreast of environmental issues on both local and national levels, and write or call your elected officials to express your concerns about energy efficiency and global warming.
Energy Saving Tips
Basic Energy Saving Tips
Energy saving tips can often seem daunting and impractical. People get so accustomed to their habits that they can have a hard time imagining any other way of living. Many people also don’t realize just how much energy they use on a daily basis, even as they are going about their days and trying not to waste anything. There are many simple energy saving tips that can lead to tremendous savings in energy over the course of the year.
People as well as businesses can have multiple motives for saving energy, from simple economic necessity to general concerns about the environment and carbon footprints. People who are concerned about energy expenditures for environmental reasons may be discouraged about their ability to make much of a difference one way or another, regardless of their intentions. With environmental issues green house gasses, every little bit helps. Millions of people performing basic energy saving tips could make a huge difference, and even one person taking pains to ensure they do not use any more energy than they need to can have a tremendous impact. When it comes to simple economics, energy bills are a burden and a chore, and most people would jump at the chance to reduce them.
Energy Saving Tips for the home
Swapping your traditional light bulbs for more energy efficient flourescent models are great energy saving tips for homeowners and renters. Fluorescent lights are more efficient because they require less energy to produce the same amount of light. They also generate less heat which is really just wasted energy. With fluorescent lights, people can have the benefits of the same light they previously enjoyed, only this way, they will consume less energy in the process. It is important to research brands of replacement light bulbs, since many companies today are trying to sell products that are labeled as energy efficient, regardless of whether or not they actually are energy efficient. Many homeowners who purchase the right energy efficient light bulbs can make better use of the electricity they do consume. Energy efficient light bulbs also tend to last much longer than more traditional bulbs, making them a much better investment.
Weather stripping and insulation are other great energy saving tips for households to reduce expenses. All doors and windows should be checked for draughts. Applying the appropriate weather stripping prevents heat from leaving the home in the winter, and keeps cool air in during the summer.
Some energy saving tips are much more direct. It is important not to leave lights on unless it is necessary. Leaving some lights on when you are outside of your home can be a reasonably good security measure, but it is unnecessary to leave all of them on, for instance. If you do prefer to leave some lights on, you can put them on a timer to reduce the number of hours that they are on.
Another at home energy saving tip is to unplug charging devices after your device has been charged. Charging devices still use a small amount of energy, even when your device is fully charged. Although the individual household savings are small, if all charging devices were unplugged after use, it’s estimated that over 100 billion kw hours of electricity could be saved every year.
Many people are not in the habit of turning off the lights after leaving a given room, which can add up over the course of a year. When people do that on a wide enough scale, it can be a contributor to environmental problems by itself. A good rule of thumb when it comes to energy usage is not to take any energy you do use for granted. All energy comes at a price, to your self and to society at large, and using it appropriately is very important.
Today, many people own a lot of electronics, all of which consume large amounts of energy every time they are used. One of the beauties of modern laptops is that they can replace many other electrical devices: many people use their laptops for everything from watching movies to paying their bills. Laptop computers and flat screen computers typically use less energy than large desktop computers, and purchasing a computer that is specifically designed with an eye towards energy efficiency can make a huge difference over time. Many energy saving tips involve making informed consumer decisions and not falling into the same traps that accompany energy intensive habits. Many new electronics are energy efficient, and buying new models helps support the development of new and better technology.
Energy Savings Tips For Business
Energy consumption affects the bottom line for all businesses. Finding the right combination of savings sometimes must be weighed against the cost to implement and maintain the solution. Many large corporations have created energy efficiency organizations that are focused only on reducing energy costs. The good news is that most of the same energy savings tips used at home can be applied to both small and large businesses.
Installing LED’s or CFL’s is usually the first step in reducing energy costs for businesses. A business may choose the LED route over CFL’s because the lifespan of an LED light can be 5 to 6 times greater. However, the upfront cost on the LED is higher.
Installation of motion and occupancy sensors is another way for business to save energy. These sensors take out the human element of leaving the light on in unoccupied rooms or areas. Savings can be substantial, but again, the installation and material cost must be weighed against the estimated savings.
Much like upgrading to a more energy efficient refrigerator for a homeowner has its energy savings, replacing out of date equipment, or upgrading HVAC equipment for businesses are also good energy savings tips.
Many companies have started employee engagement programs to help educate employees about energy usage and the benefits of good habits such as powering down computers, turning off monitors, turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, and other energy saving tips. This can be a very effective and low cost initial first step for business owners to take since it does not require the purchase or installation of equipment, yet can achieve tangible results.
In addition to the above the following energy saving tips can be looked at to reduce costs:
- Installing energy efficient windows
- Installing smart meters
- Adjusting heating and cooling sensor set points and timers
- Improving maintenance practices to help equipment run more efficiently
- Conducting energy efficiency audits to identify areas of improvement
Other Energy Saving Tips
Other Energy Saving Tips
Energy saving tips can extend beyond electricity. Most people use more energy driving than with almost anything else. Depending on where you live, there is little else you can do but drive everywhere. People who live in cities with good public transportation could at least consider substituting some of their driving for public transportation, but not everyone has that option. People who are all traveling to the same destination on a regular basis could consider carpooling if they are able to do so, which can also be a fun social activity. People with the financial stability to do so could consider buying hybrid or electric cars when purchasing new automobiles. The Internet is making it easier to work at home, and people who work at home will often use less fuel just as a matter of course.
There will be newer, even more efficient vehicles in the future that people will be able to consider, since sustainability is a new trend in business. The transition to sustainability will be easier for people who work on energy saving in the meantime. Working the principles of energy saving into your daily life can make a huge difference by itself. Both economic planning and energy saving tips involve small, calculated decisions about the allocation of essential resources and assets.