Save Money & The Environment
by Barbara Loraine
- Turn off the lights when not needed.
- Use fewer lights.
- Cut 80% energy use – Switch to CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights) or LED’s (light emitting diodes)
- Open blinds or curtains to let in natural light.
- Install a programmable thermostat, so you don’t forget to turn heating and air off or down at night or when you’re away. Need an installer?
- Get home heating information – Big Money Savings
- Get home cooling tips – Big Money Savings
REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER TIPS
- If your fridge is more than 10 years old, you can save a bundle by getting an Energy Star model.
- Freezer on bottom is better for energy efficiency
- Consider whether you really need that extra refrigerator or freezer.
- Check seals on fridge and freezer doors. Close a piece of paper in the refrigerator door, if you can pull it out easily, you need to replace the seal.
- Vacuum coils at the bottom of the fridge twice a year.
- Do NOT stand staring into the fridge or freezer, it lets cold air escape.
- Keep fridge and freezer full; dead space takes more energy. Fill empty space with water bottles.
- Wait for hot food to cool before placing in fridge or freezer.
- Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator. They add their cooling to other items – and this is best for health safety, anyway.
- Turn rinse cycle to cold, dishes will already be cleaned and sanitized during wash.
- Skip the dry cycle. Open the door and let dishes air dry.
- Use a shorter wash cycle.
- Only wash full loads. For small households, get more dishes to make this possible.
- Consider rinsing first, if your dishwasher takes extra energy to clean without rinsing. (See water-saving tips, so you conserve while you rinse.)
- Maintain your machine and avoid residue-creating products. (Use TLC Clean for Dishwasher)
WASHING MACHINE TIPS
- Wash only full loads;
- In top loaders, arrange laundry evenly, so it doesn’t throw off balance of machine.
- Wash less often. Wear clothes longer.
- Use cold water.
- Handwash fine washables
- Buy an energy-effiient, front-loading washer (saves 50% of water)
- Keep your machine level, get a vibration pad if necessary
- Avoid products that create residue, which gunks up the machine. (Use TLC Clean for Laundry)
DRYING LAUNDRY TIPS
- Empty the lint filter after each load.
- Skip fabric softener, they gunk up the machine and chemical fragrances are usually toxic.
- Do NOT overload the dryer, which reduces it’s efficiency.
- Dry lighter fabrics together or remove them earlier than other items.
- Line dry whenever possible.
- Dry loads one after the other. The machine stays hot, use that for the next load.
ELECTRONIC & HOME APPLIANCE TIPS
- If possible, turn off electronics when not in use, or at the end of the day.
- If you can’t turn them off, put them in sleep mode to reduce energy use.
- Turn off printers and other equipment until you need to use it.
- Check for energy-saving settings – and use them.
- Use power strips to avoid “phantom power” waste. Most appliances and electronics draw power when they are plugged in at the wall. Use a power strip; turn it off when not in use, and save.
- Plug games and other infrequently used electronics to the power strip.
- Unplug chargers, they continue to draw energy even when they are not charging.
- Charge your cell phone during the day; it only takes a few hours, not all night.
- Consider whether you use the clock on your appliance. If not, plus it in to a power strip
- A TV usually needs to be kept on to avoid reprogramming, but can you turn off speakers and other accessories?
WATER HEATER TIPS
- Set your water heater to low or no more than 120 degrees.
- Insulate the tank with a water heater blanket.
- Insulate pipes with wraps.
- Buy a tankless or solar water heater; these use no energy.
- Do regular maintenance to ensure efficient operation.
STOVE & OVEN TIPS
- Preheat only when baking breads, pastries and other items that require precise timing.
- When you are going to use the oven, see what more you can bake. i.e. Potatoes or garlic.
- When you bake, place items on the top shelf; reduce cooking time by 20%.
- Check the oven seal.
- When timing is not crucial, turn the oven off early; food will continue cooking.
- Use the oven light to check for doneness, rather than opening the oven and letting heat escape.
- Use a slow cooker to use less energy.
- Use pots and pans that have layers (or other method) for cooking many items at once.
- Compare electricity versus gas cost when you consider using small electric appliances.
- Buy a convection or toaster oven, as an alternative to using the full oven.
- Consider buying an electric pot for heating water.
- Use a timer whcn you cook. i.e. Don’t over boil water, eggs, or other foods.
- Don’t use more water than you need to cook potatoes, eggs, etc.
- Consider buying a solar oven.
- Irons heat up quickly, turn it on right before use. Or hang clothes after drying to avoid ironing.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Use timers that turn off lights and appliances automatically.
- If you watch TV in bed at night, set your TV to turn off at a certain time.
- Check how long it takes to heat up curling irons & hot rollers. Set a timer lets you know when they are ready.
CHECK HOME HEATING & HOME COOLING TIPS