Every Friday I am going to do a series post. The last couple of Fridays I did posts about some DIY projects and their levels of difficulty. Now I am moving on to the next series of posts which are ways to save money around your house by being more energy efficient. The first installment of them is going to be ways to save money right now.
Keep out ghost energy: We all know that you should turn off the TV or a light when you leave a room, but did you know that leaving anything plugged into the outlet on your wall is using energy? This energy loss is called ghost energy. Ghost energy is the draw that electronics make on the power grid simply by being plugged in. The clocks on microwaves and DVD players, the standby light on a video game system, or the power used to keep a power strip on are all using energy even though the item might be turned off. So how can you get around this? The easiest way to do this is buy a power strip for all of the electronic equipment that doesn’t need to be constantly plugged in and have that strip be unplugged until you need the item. Plug in game systems, DVD players, and radios into here and then unplug the strip until it’s needed.
Air Dry your clothes and dishes: All dishwashers have a cycle at the end that is some form of drying. By skipping this step and having your dishes air-dry, or just towel drying them after the load, you save the energy costs it takes to heat the air inside of your dishwasher to dry those dishes. Also make sure that the dishwasher is full so that you’re using it most efficiently. It’s the same thing with clothes too. I fully understand that if it’s December and you’re in Green Bay, Wisconsin you’re not about to put your clothes on the line and let them dry, so try drying indoors. But come the summer months and if you’re in a warm enough climate (I’m lookin at you Arizona) save yourself the money and put your clothes outside to dry. Also try to wash full loads of clothing to increase your washer machine’s efficiency too. If you have only a small load to do a good way to fill some space is by washing towels. Towels get dirty quickly enough that no matter when you’re washing them chances are they need it; not to mention there’s no better feeling than a nice fluffy towel.
Use your thermostat wisely: A lot of digital thermostats have the ability to be programmed when to turn on and off, and if you know you are going to be gone all day than make sure and use it! There’s no reason to run your air conditioning all day if no one is going to feel it right? So set your timer to turn the air off just before you leave for work, and then turn back on just before you get home. You can buy some of the thermostats here If you have a digital thermostat without a timer, or one of the old manual ones, than set the temperature yourself just before you leave and right when you get home, this way you aren’t wasting your money on power when you’re not even home to enjoy it. Although I will say as an animal lover if you are leaving pets at home make sure that you aren’t overheating or freezing them out. Make sure your house is at a good enough temperature so you don’t run the risk of hurting Mr. Whiskers or Dr. Helmut Von Dachshund.
Drive Smarter: The fuel that is in your car is a form of energy, and aggressive driving uses more fuel and wastes more energy than simple defensive driving does. Speeding and slamming on your brakes at every red light makes the car burn fuel quicker, wears down your brake pads faster, and uses up brake fluid quicker….all which waste energy and hurt the environment. Jumping off the line at every green light and trying to take your car into a sub ten second quarter mile also uses way more gas than you think it does. Simply by having your car accelerate and decelerate slowly and naturally can improve the life of your gas (not to mention the life of the money in your bank account by not filling up twice a week.
Energy efficiency is an easy way to save money and our mother earth. These tips have been ones that you can do right now and without any additional cost. Tune in next Friday when I’ll give some more tips on how to save your money and your mother (Earth that is).
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Save money safe out there!! =)