Reduce Your Electricity Use Now With Simple Steps
One Step Forward, or Two Steps Back?
So, yesterday we talked about the number one energy consumer in our households, our heating/air conditioning units. But, take note that there are many other greedy appliances in our homes as well, ready and willing to suck in as much energy as we allow them to.
There are many mini-monsters in our house that love to chomp up the KWh's (just go outside and watch your electric meter spin sometime if you want proof!) Most of these mini-monsters are things we use everyday, or items that have become such an everyday part of life that we don't even consider them when we think about where our electricity is being used. Let's take a look at just a few of them here.
The one that really stands out to me (because I'm using it right now) is the home-computer. How many of us leave our computer on pretty much 24/7 regardless of if anyone is even using it? I know we do in our house. It gets a brief break between when my wife goes to bed at 1 or 2 am (if she remembers to shut it off) and when I get up at 5am. However, there is not someone using it all the hours that it is on! Believe it or not, your computer does (and is) consuming electricity (regardless of if it's being used by a person or not!). I think most of us tend to leave it on thinking that it's just way more convenient than having to wait the 2 or 3 minutes it takes to boot up the next time we want to use it; but is that convenience worth the extra electricity usage? Others of us, who grew up at the same time computers were "growing up" remember hearing about how much wear and tear is on a computer every time it gets shut down and started back up. Fortunately I think that myth has run it's course and with today's technology it's not a big deal to turn off your computer in between uses. Want to save some Watts? Then shut it off when not in use. (I'll work hard at this one too, old habits die hard. :)
Looking in the same general vicinity we see (for most of us) our cable modem, and wireless routers. Guess what? Yup, those are using electricity too! and they never shut off unless they are unplugged! Even something as small as your cable modem and/or wireless router can contribute to your large monthly electric bill. (Obviously just unplugging those when you are not using them will not save you a TON of money on your bill, but every little bit helps!) So, when you know you won't be using them for awhile (especially if you are going to be out of the house for more than a few hours, unplug it! Save yourself some cents. (Cents add up to Dollars, the more you save.)
That brings us to the last one we will discuss today, and I mentioned this in my bonus tip yesterday. The TV/DVD Player/Blu-Ray Player/Video Game Console. With kids in the house (and sometimes with men that like to sleep in front of their favorite sports games) chances of the TV and related accessories being left on is quite high. It seems that most every time when I walk downstairs these things are ALL on (not to mention Every Single Light) regardless of if there is anyone anywhere nearby that could be enjoying them. Get your kids (and your big hairy kids, your husbands) to turn that stuff off when it's not being specifically enjoyed. Also, like the cable modem and wireless router mentioned above, this stuff also uses electricity even when it's off. If you will be gone for a few days, unplug it too. (warning: you may have to reprogram channels on your TV if you unplug it).
Bonus Tip for the Day: Try to run a FULL load each time you run your dishwasher. You will be saving not only electricity but also a ton of water.
Why should we bother to reduce our energy consumption, or even care how much it is?
Number one reason that stands out to me (because I don't earn much money) is the huge monthly power bill. Nuff Said!
Number two thing to consider is the growing pollution problem caused by using energy that has been created with sources that contribute extra "garbage" into our air and atmosphere. I know, if it doesn't seem to affect us in our everyday lives it's easy to throw the idea onto a side burner, or put it off in the "ridiculous file" like global warming. However pollution IS a proven issue, and the number of grade-school kids that now have trouble breathing is becoming astronomical. (Can it be related to the higher pollution in the air, I have to assume that there is at least a partial causation from this source.) The more we can rely on alternate sources of energy (like solar,wind,magnetic,etc. which are worth the investigation) and the more we reduce our current energy usage, then the better off the air and atmosphere will fare.
You may not care about the air, but the person who doesn't care about the effect on their wallets is few and far between. If nothing else, do it to save money!
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