Green tech

How to Reduce the Amount of Energy You Use

Save EnergyEnergy bills can mount up each month, but you can reduce the amount of energy you use and the money you spend each month with these small changes.

Unplug What You Don't Use

Even when you aren't using an appliance, it's still sucking energy, so unplug what you aren't using. You don't have to unplug everything. For example, if you commonly use your bedside light, don't unplug it when you aren't using it. Just turn it off. This rule applies to appliances you don't use often, such as a video game system you only use when a good game comes out. Also, make sure to take advantage of your computer's hibernate mode, which saves energy without turning off the system.

Insulate Your Water Heater

If you have an older water heater, the system might not have enough insulation. You can fix this by purchasing a water heater jacket, which will give your system a little more insulation, allowing it to keep hot water heated longer without using extra power. Don't forget to also insulate the exposed pipes that lead from the wall to the water heater.

Use Your Thermostat Correctly

It's easy to crank the heat during the winter and the air conditioning during the summer, but that is a fast way to waste energy. The best thing you can do to reduce energy consumption is to keep the temperature as low as you can handle in the winter — or around 68 degrees. When you go to sleep or if you're out of the house, set it to 55 degrees. During the summer, try to keep your home as warm as you can handle (at about 78 degrees).

Use Your Dishwasher and Clothes Washer Wisely

The dishwasher and clothes washer can waste a lot of water and energy, which increases your energy bills, so use them a bit more wisely. When washing dishes, always use a full load, and don't pre-wash. You'll still need to scrape off the dishes to get rid of big chunks of leftovers, but there's no need to scrub with soap and water. When washing clothes, use a full load (unless your system allows you to set the load size). If possible, use cold water to wash and rise your clothes, which will use less energy because the water won't need to be heated.

Replace Inefficient Lighting

Lightbulbs have come a long way, and there are extremely energy-efficient options from which you can choose. One common efficient lightbulb is LED, which can last 25 times longer than a normal lightbulb. They cost more than regular lightbulbs, but they last a long time. Another common energy-efficient option is a CFL. These are the fluorescent lights you see in office buildings, stores, and hospitals. However, now you can get them for all your regular lighting needs to replace normal lightbulbs. These last about 10 times longer than regular bulbs.

Reducing energy consumption doesn’t have to be difficult. These little changes are easy, cheap, and effective. If you're ready to start saving money, put the above tips into action today.

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