Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yet another article subject has inspired me to find ways to save money and help the environment. I recently wrote about conserving energy. I learned so much, outside of just changing traditional light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFL's.
Some ideas we have applied here at the house:
Unplug appliances and devices that you don't use often. These are those sources of phantom energy drains. I recently unplugged the coffee maker (it only gets used once a week), toaster, charger for the Swiffer Vac, phone charger and extra television in the basement.
We also put the television, satelite receiver and DVD player on a power strip, which we turn off when we go to bed. We also unplug the laptop and turn off the power strip for the computer and wireless service.
I recently lowered the thermostat in the house. One expert told me that for every degree you lower on the thermostat, you save 3 percent on your energy bill.
Other ideas I gathered in writing the article: Check the insulation in your attic. Get kits where you can put some foam padding under the switch plates along outside walls to prevent cool air from entering. Check the weather stripping in doors. Open the blinds to let in the natural warmth from the sun.
I really enjoyed reading an article in Consumer Reports. My favorite ideas from that publication that I have tried to apply here at home:
  • Skip prerinsing dishes. Our tests have found that it's unnecessary, and you'll save up to 6,500 gallons of water per year.
  • Opt for the cold-water wash cycle and save about $60 a year.
  • Dust off the slow cooker. You'll use a lot less energy than cooking a meal across several burners and in the oven.
  • Don't overload the dryer. Clothes will take longer to dry, and they'll come out wrinkled. When the weather is warm, line dry.

When all is said and done, a little goes a long way to reducing your energy bills and helping the environment.

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