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Great Ways to Save Energy and Money at Home
It's no secret that fuel, energy and water prices are steadily climbing globally. This means that it costs more and more to run your home. Because of these growing costs it is important to focus on saving energy and being as efficient as possible.
There are a number of great ways to save money on energy around the home. In fact, there is a variety of ways to save energy in almost every aspect of the house. Because of this variety and the different areas of the house that can focused on, I will only talk about my top 3 tips for water and electricity conservation.
Water, water everywhere and only a penny an ounce. It seems like that's the more accurate saying these days. If you have municipal water then you're no doubt paying to brush your teeth. It is simply the nature of the beast. However, there are several things you can do to save water and lower your water bills with out reusing your gray water or buying a composting toilet.
Using objects to displace the water in your toilet tank is a great way to reduce the amount of water that is used flush the toilet. Granted many modern toilet assemblies have adjustable ball floats that help to regulate the amount of water. Displacement further reduces the water. You have to make sure however that you are using enough water to flush everything down!! There are several commercially available water displacement objects but you can also use brick.
Most sinks have some form of aerators on them already but you can also buy better ones as well. Aerators increase the force of the water flow by causing water to flow through a pourous object, usually a screen. The water comes out harder and over a larger area but needs less volume of water to do it.
Turn it Off in Between
There are several activities in the house that we do that we often leaving the water running namely; dishes, teeth brushing and shaving. Filling up the sink or turning off the water during the activity can save a lot of water. For example, dentists recommend brushing teeth for two minutes at a time. Leaving water running during this time, at 2.5 g/min (typical flow rate) means that approximately 5 gallons of water goes down the drain. Turning off the water during this time means most of that water stays put.
The lights are on but no one's home. It's a catchy phrase and a line from one of my favorite Robert Palmer songs, but it is also a black hole of energy usage.
Turn Off the Lights!
Turning off lights you're not using is a bit of a no brainer but hello, so many people leave a light on in every room at night. Why? Is the ficus afraid of the dark? Using only the lights you need is a great way of conserving electrical energy all the time
CLFs and LEDs
I know there is some contention in regards to the CFLs. For starters they do contain mercury inside them and if they break can be hazardous. However, compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) can save an estimated $40 over the life of the bulb. LEDs, which right now are pretty expensive, can save even more.
Vampire plugs are chargers that slowly suck energy even if they are not charging. In fact, it is such a perceived problem that California has passed a law requiring manufacturers to make chargers that prevent this sucking. Better idea, just unplug your chargers when you're not using them.