- Home Improvement
Easy Ways To Save On Electricity
Electricity has become one of those necessities of the modern home and with more and more electronics entering into the consumer market, electrical consumption is on a steady rise. The average American household now consumes 21.5KwH /day of electricity, however expect that to increase as we continue through the digital age. In terms of cost, If you pay the typical 10 cents/KwH that could mean annual sums of over $700/year on electricity.
Here are 7 simple tips that could help you cut those costs by as much as 50% without having to give up on owning the latest digital toys.
Replace Incandecent's with CFL's
The fastest and easiest way to save on electricity is to replace those incandescent (the old Thomas Edison) bulbs with the new Compact Florescent type. It is by far the simplest way to make a change because they each use 78% less electricity without sacrificing on brightness. They can be purchased in 'True Light' and 'Soft Light' types, so be sure to chose the ones appropriate for what you need or desire.
Energy save your computer
There's no need to have your computers on 24hrs. Unlike in the past when computers took forever to start up, today's machines take just a few seconds to boot up. The short start-up times now means that you can let that Notebook or Desktop have a few hours to rest at night. If turning on your computer still feels like a hassle opt to enable the Standby or Sleep-Mode instead. This will help ensure that your computer is using as little energy as possible.
Another suggestion is to pack up those old desktops in favour for the more lightweight & energy-efficient laptops. They consume less than a third of the energy with almost all of the same benefits of a desktop.
Switch to LCD
A great way to save a few bucks on electricity is to make the transition from the old tube-televisions to the newer LCD HDTV's. They use way less energy and some even come equipped with Energy Star power-save standards. Plasma TV's have their benefits in color richness but they tend to use more energy than LCD's, plus they tend to give off a fair amount of heat when in use. LCD HDTV are the future so don't get suckered into the falling prices of the power hungry plasma sets.
Energy Saving Fridges and Freezers
The fridge and freezer are the most energy consuming appliances we have in our homes. They work hard 24/7 keeping your food cold and some just happen to be more efficient than others. The best tip I can give you here is that when you are in the market be sure to buy a fridge that has the best efficiency rating while still meeting all your fridge requirements.
Freezers are a little more energy intense and for most families are impractical to own. I've known many families (including my own) who have these large deep-freezers that keep mountains of meet frozen for years only to get thrown out when no one is courageous enough to eat anything. My advice on deep-freezers is to get a small one if needed, otherwise avoid them if possible.
If you insist on using a deep freezer avoid placing them in warm place like the kitchen. Opt for the basement or garage where it is already slightly cooler. That way the freezer won't have to work as hard.
Also, don't forget that the freon in fridges pose a real hazard to the environment when not disposed of properly. Take the time to bring it to a proper recycling facility.
Air-conditioners love to suck electricity and for people living in the Southern United States they are a major contributor to your electrical bill. Acting on the same principles as a fridge and freezer these appliances could be running 24/7 during the warm summer months. To save on A/C always buy the most efficient unit for your size house and when possible set the thermostat a little higher to save. Other great ideas would be to just turn it off during the peak day times and find other ways to stay cool like spending the day at the mall or seeing a movie. You could also leave your blinds shut during the day and open the windows at night to get in a nice breeze.
Another idea is to use a dehumidifier to help assist the A/C by drawing the moisture out of the indoor air.
Unplug Electrical Vampires
Electrical Vampires are devices that use electricity despite being turned off. This could be a phone charger, entertainment system, stereo... basically anything that has a quick start feature. You've probably noticed that after turning off your television you see a glowing blue dot signifying that the TV is off. Well these small lights add up to serious costs in the long run, so here's a few options to help combat Electrical Vampires.
- Purchase power-bars with timer settings on them. Plug your TV, Stereo, DVD player, XBOX, Nintendo Wii, etc... to it. When the timer turns the power-bar off you'll be certain no juice is flowing into your unused electronics. This is also a good security feature against power-surges during those late night thunderstorms.
- For all other vampires in the home, just unplug them when they are not in use and plug them back in when needed.