Wednesday, 22 February 2012

More simple steps to saving energy

An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments to make your home more efficient, you’ll see lower energy bills. Over time, these savings may even cover the cost of more extensive home improvements and if you’re thinking of selling, all of these improvements will make your home more attractive to buyers.
Meanwhile, these are some of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bills:
Lights help us see but can we see what they cost?
There is a wide selection of light fittings available, all of which seem to require different light bulbs but the most important consideration for anyone trying to save money is how much energy they use and how long they last. Though electric light is absolutely necessary, Solatube Daylighting Systems help you use natural light where possible  thereby cutting down on unecessary lighting costs.
But be canny when choosing light fittings and make sure there is an energy saving bulb to fit it. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Though slightly more costly than traditional bulbs  the savings are huge; lighting our homes can take up 6% of our energy bills but LEDs, for instance, use 20% less energy and last 25 times longer.
Then there are your household appliances; have you thought of how much energy they use? If you are at the stage of buying new, then obviously you would buy the most energy efficient white goods available as they account for around 13% of your energy costs!
Dishwashers may save your hands but they don’t save money.
Have you still got the manual? Then check the manufacturers recommended water temperature, some models allow you to set it lower at say, 120°F.
If you’re thinking low energy use, how you use you dishwasher is also important: You can scrape the large pieces of food off the plates without rinsing (also saving water) and wait until you have a full load before starting the machine. If you then turn it off before the dry cycle and open the door for the dishes to air-dry, over a few months you will certainly notice the difference.
It’s worth considering air drying your clothes as well, as tumble dryers are real energy guzzlers.
How cold is cold enough?
Keeping food cool is an energy intense business (unless you live in the arctic circle of course). Freezers should be kept at 0°F for  long term storage whereas the small freezer compartment at the top of a refrigerator should be 5°F while 37-50°F is fine for the fresh food sections of the fridge.
Did you know that uncovered food makes your fridge work harder? It’s true. And make sure that door is closed tight; check the seals are still good and remind the next child that stands with the fridge door open,  that it might be an idea for them to hand back some of their pocket money to pay for the extra electricity used!
A little maintenance also goes a long way towards saving cash so regularly defrost freezers and refrigerators if they don’t defrost automatically.
Last but not least
If you turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you have finished cooking or bathing that will save unnecessary costs. And when you’re in the kitchen use a kettle or covered pan to heat food as it’s quicker and uses less fuel.
So remember: everything you use in the house can be turned from an energy guzzling monster into something amenable and inexpensive by keeping up basic maintenance and turning things off when not in use.

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