9 Unexpected Energy (and Money) Savers10/24/2011
Here are a few surprising and simple ways to cut your energy bill this season.
Put lamps in the corners: Did you know you can switch to a lower wattage bulb in a lamp or lower its dimmer switch and not lose a noticeable amount of light? Its all about placement. When a lamp is placed in a corner, the light reflects off the adjoining walls, which makes the room lighter and brighter.
Switch to a laptop: If youre reading this article on a laptop, youre using 1/3 less energy than if youre reading this on a desktop.
Choose an LCD TV: If youre among those considering a flat-screen upgrade from your conventional, CRT TV, choose an LCD screen for the biggest energy save.
Give your water heater a blanket: Just like you pile on extra layers in the winter, your hot water heater can use some extra insulation too. A fiberglass insulation blanket is a simple addition that can cut heat loss and save 4% to 9% on the average water-heating bill.
Turn off the burner before youre done cooking: When you turn off an electric burner, it doesnt cool off immediately. Use that to your advantage by turning it off early and using the residual heat to finish up your dish.
Add motion sensors: You might be diligent about shutting off unnecessary lights, but your kids? Not so much. Adding motion sensors to playrooms and bedrooms cost only $15 to $50 per light, and ensures you dont pay for energy that youre not using.
Spin laundry faster: The faster your washing machine can spin excess water out of your laundry, the less youll need to use your dryer. Many newer washers spin clothes so effectively, they cut drying time and energy consumption in halfwhich results in an equal drop in your dryers energy bill.
Use an ice tray: Stop using your automatic icemaker. It increases your fridges energy consumption by 14% to 20%. Ice trays, on the other hand, dont increase your energy costs one iota.
Use the dishwasher: If you think doing your dishes by hand is greener than powering up the dishwasher, youre wrong. Dishwashers use about 1/3 as much hot water and relieve that much strain from your energy-taxing water heater. Added bonus: you dont have to wash any dishes.