Earth Day – T is for Teaching Good Energy Habits
If you’ve been following our blog posts recently, you’ve seen that we’re covering different aspects of responsible energy habits and ways that we can improve the planet by reducing waste and using energy more efficiently.
Our post today is about teaching good energy usage habits so we can ensure future generations understand the importance of using energy responsibly.
Here is a list of tips you can teach your family about conserving energy to help the environment!
Tips About Electronics
- Be sure to unplug your chargers once your electronic devices have finished charging. Most charging cords draw power even if nothing is plugged in.
- Watch out for electricity “vampires” – devices that go into “standby” mode but don’t actually turn off. It’s estimated that up to 10% of your bill comes from these types of appliances!
- If you’re looking to update your computer—consider buying a laptop instead of a desktop computer—these use less power.
- When buying new devices look for those that are Energy Star rated or qualified. These meet certain specifications and are specifically intended to use less electricity.
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Tips About Heating & Cooling
- Make sure you clean or replace the filter in your air conditioner at least once a month. Doing so ensures that your system is able to work more efficiently.
- Ensure that your A/C is running efficiently all the time. Check for any leaks, be aware of any lessened cooling power or air flow. Get a tune up done if needed to keep your unit in tip-top shape.
- Keep your home cooler by blocking out some of the sunlight. Using light colored curtains will allow the sunlight in but not the heat it brings, keeping your home cooler without breaking the bank on air conditioning costs.
- Run your air conditioning unit in “auto” mode so the fan only kicks on when it needs to, instead of running all the time.
- If your home or office is equipped with central air conditioning or heating, close off the vents to rooms that aren’t being used. This redirects the cool or warm air to those rooms that do get used and it takes less energy to get them to a comfortable temperature.
- If your home isn’t already equipped with them, ceiling fans are a good idea to have installed. Though they don’t generally pull much more power than a standard light bulb, they can make a room 3 to 4 degrees cooler, allowing you to raise your thermostat and still stay comfortable.
- Cover bare floors with rugs to insulate rooms better against the cold.
- Keep your thermostat set between 68-70 during winter days and a little lower than that at night. This will keep you warm enough to be comfortable inside but save you a bunch of money in comparison to warming your home up to 78-80 degrees.
- Also, leave your shades and curtains open during the day in winter time. This warms your home with the natural heat of the sun and makes it easier for you to warm up without using tons of power.
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Tips About Electrical Appliances
- If you can, update your pre-1990s appliances with ones that are more energy efficient.
- Otherwise, limit the number of appliances you keep plugged in (think blenders, juicers, toasters, etc.) and unplug them when not in use.
- Try to do your laundry all on the same day. This way your dryer doesn’t cool down all the way before the next load.
- Switch to copper-bottomed pots and pans. They use heat more efficiently, helping you save energy from your stove top.
- Ensure that you keep your refrigerator’s coils clean – dusty ones aren’t as able to perform efficiently, causing you to use more energy then needed.
- Install a power factor correction (PFC) device like the Electric Saver 1200. These devices will help your home use electricity more efficiently, especially if you’re running a lot of older, less efficient appliances. (Visit www.ElectricSaver1200.com for more information on how to buy and install one.)
- Hand wash dishes where possible. If you do run the dishwasher, wait until it’s full and use an air-dry option instead of heating.
- Keep an eye out for dripping faucets. In addition to wasting water, they can also be requiring your water heater to stay on more than necessary and drive energy costs up!
- Save up to 40 cents per load of laundry by washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot.
- Turn off kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans right away after you finish airing out a room. These can waste quite a lot of energy when left on.
- Replace all incandescent light bulbs with CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs—even your outdoor bulbs. Not only will they save you money on your electric bill, they last up to 10 years longer than standard bulbs.
- Use task-specific lighting in your home (beside table lights, desk lamps, etc.) instead of trying to light up the whole room. The targeted lighting is bright enough to clearly see what you need without wasting any energy.
- Apply a reflective coating to your home’s roof if you can. This will reflect light from the sun, ultimately helping you save on cooling costs.
- Ensure your windows are properly sealed and insulated to ensure there is no loss of energy or efficiency in your heating and cooling system.
The key to a bright future for all of us includes teaching the upcoming generation about proper and responsible energy habits. We can make a difference and improve the conditions of the planet and make sure that we take care of it for years to come! There's no better way to celebrate Earth Day than by reinforcing good energy habits starting now!