Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow.
1. Unplug appliances when they arent in use
Did you know that appliances that are plugged in keep using energy, even when theyre switched off Even an appliance as small as a coffee pot continues slowly sapping energy every moment it stays plugged in, long after the last cup of coffee has been consumed. Power down your computer and unplug it at the end of the day. Computers use a lot of energy, and when they stay plugged in youre wasting both energy and money.Dont leave your TV plugged in all the time. It may seem inconvenient to unplug it when youre finished watching, but the savings are worth the trouble.Unplug your sound system and speakers. These are some of the worst culprits when it comes to sapping extra energy when they arent in use.Dont forget small appliances such as phone chargers, kitchen appliances, hair dryers, and anything else youve got that runs on electricity.
2. Turn off the lights
This is the simplest, most common way to save electricity, and it really works. Start paying attention to how many lights are on in your house at a given time. Be mindful of how many lights you really need to be using at once. When you leave a room, make a habit of turning off the lights, every single time. If you really want to go all out, have your family use just one or two rooms at night, rather than spreading out all over the house and keeping your entire home lit.For maximum electricity savings, use candles! This old fashioned system of providing light at night is effective, romantic and peaceful. If you dont find it practical to use candles every night, try doing it just once or twice a week. Be careful doing this with little kids, though make sure all of your family members know how to handle candles safely.
3. Change your bulbs
Replacing regular incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs is a big energy savor. Incandescent bulbs release most of their energy through heat, while CFL and LED bulbs are more energy efficient and last much longer.CFL bulbs were the first alternative to incandescent bulbs, and they use only about 1/4 the energy of incandescent bulbs. They contain trace amounts of mercury, so they must be disposed of properly when they burn out.LED bulbs are newer to the market. Theyre more expensive than CFLs, but they last longer and dont contain mercury.
4. Embrace natural light
Open up your curtains and let the sun shine in! Using natural light whenever possible instead of relying on artificial light can greatly reduce the amount of electricity you use during the day. The same is true whether you work in an office or spend your days in your house. Exposure to natural light also increases happiness,giving you an even greater incentive to raise the blinds.Try to arrange your workspace so that natural light floods your desk. Keep the overhead lights off when possible. When you need extra lighting, use a low powered desk lamp instead.Buy curtains or blinds in a light shade that provides privacy but still allows light to come through.
5. Use less hot water
Heating water takes a lot of energy. Its not necessary to take cold showers, but being mindful of how much hot water you use, and how the water is being heated, can save a lot of electricity and money.Make sure your water heater is insulated so that it isnt losing too much heat. Consider getting a water heater that doesnt run on a continuously lit pilot light.Take showers instead of baths. Baths use a lot more water than showers.Take shorter showers. Spending 20 minutes in the shower uses up too much electricity.
6. Use the air conditioner less frequently
Sometimes its unavoidable to use the air conditioner, but theres no reason to have it on from the beginning of spring to the end of the summer without ever turning it off. Find other ways to cool yourself down when possible.
7. Service your air conditioner
Roughly half of an average homes annual energy bill (gas and electric), about $1,000, is spent on heating and cooling. Air conditioners placed in direct sunlight use up to 10 percent more electricity. If yours sits in the sun, plant tall shrubs or shade trees nearby but dont enclose the unit or impede the airflow. Place window units on the north side of the house or install an awning over them.Keep your window or central air conditioner tuned up so it runs at peak efficiency. Every two or three years, call in a pro to check the electrical parts and the refrigerant.If your central air conditioner is more than 12 years old, replacing it with an Energy Star model can cut your cooling costs by 30 percent and save maintenance costs. The payback for replacing a 12 year old system is typically about eight years. An air conditioners efficiency level is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the number, the more efficient the unit. A 13 or 14 SEER rating is considered high efficiency.
8. Kill energy vampires
Seventy five percent of the electrical use by home electronics occurs when theyre turned off, according to the Department of Energy. These energy vampires suck electricity all day long costing you an extra $100 each year. So if youd like to keep that Ben Franklin in your wallet, unplug your electronics or plug them into a power strip, then turn off the strip.Dont worry about losing the settings on new computers and TVs. They have a memory chip that resets everything when you power back up. If you have an old VCR or other devices that flash when the power goes out, keep it plugged in. Some power strips have a few outlets that always have power even when you flip off the switch. This type of strip has a main outlet for the computer. When you turn off the computer, the strip also shuts down other devices, such as your scanner, printer or modem.
9. Clean out the lint for dryer efficiency
A clogged lint screen or dryer duct drastically reduces the efficiency of your dryer, whether its gas or electric. Clean the lint screen after each load and clean the exhaust duct once a year. The cleaner shown here has an auger brush that attaches to a drill to clean out the ducts. Its available at home centers.Electric dryers use about $85 of electricity annually. A dirty lint screen can cause the dryer to use up to 30 percent more electricity ($25 per year), according to the Consumer Energy Center. Lint buildup is also a common cause of fires.Dry loads of laundry back to back so the dryer doesnt cool down between loads (a warm dryer uses less energy). And only run the dryer until the clothes are dry. Overdrying damages your clothes and runs up your electric bill. If youre in the market for a new dryer and already have a gas line in the house, go with a gas dryer. A gas dryer is more efficient.
10. Change furnace filter
Keeping your furnace (gas or electric) tuned up has two big benefits: It makes the furnace run efficiently and it prolongs the furnaces life span. And you can perform the annual tune up yourself in about three hours. Change the filter every month of the heating season (or year round if the filter is also used for A/C). Be sure you insert the new one so it faces the right way. The filter protects the blower and its motor; a clogged filter makes the motor work harder and use more power.
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