Every year at our house we tend to get a little crazy when the weather turns. Our home has old windows that are very drafty and don’t keep the chill out very well. We’ve had two energy audits since moving here and have done hours of research to make sure we are doing everything we should be doing to save both energy and money during the cold months. Every little thing adds up and it’s pretty rewarding when you start to see your energy bill decrease.
Yes, sometimes it’s inconvenient to do things for energy efficiency but it’s really worth it. Being energy efficient (or using less energy) is beneficial because it:
- saves money
- saves time
- improves quality of life
Energy efficiency also is helpful with the following:
- Puts less strain on the grid (reduces outages)
- Puts less strain on other natural resources (like water)
- Reduces emissions that can harm the environment
Try these Everyday Tips to Reduce Your Energy Usage
- Take shorter showers to reduce water heating costs. Try playing a short (10 minute) playlist each time you shower, then challenge yourself and others in your home to finish before the music does.
- Don’t waste money on electronics or appliances not in use. Turn off and unplug TVs and DVD players, computers, phone chargers, coffee makers, etc.
- Give your refrigerator breathing room. Clean the coils and don’t set the temperature too low. The refrigerator should be kept between 38-42°F and the freezer between 0-5°F.
- Regularly defrost a manual-defrost refrigerator or freezer whenever ice builds up more than one-quarter of an inch. Buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit.
- Wash full loads of laundry using cold water. Today’s modern detergents work great in cold water, and about 90 percent of the energy used by clothes washers goes to water heating.
- Use your clothes dryer for consecutive loads. The built-up heat means less energy spent.
- Make sure the lint trap in the clothes dryer is clean before you press start. Add a tennis ball or clean, dry towel to improve air circulation and reduce drying time.
- Run cold water for your garbage disposal. Hot water requires energy to warm. Cold water solidifies grease, moving it more easily through the disposal and pipes.
- Don’t let the hot water run. Turn it off when it’s not needed while brushing teeth, shaving or doing dishes.
- Use the self-cleaning oven feature only when necessary and start the self-cleaning cycle immediately after the oven is used to take advantage of pre-existing heat.
- Open the oven door infrequently. Every time you open it, the temperature drops about 25-30 degrees and more energy is used to generate the desired level of heat.
- Use glass baking dishes in the oven when possible. Glass retains heat better than other materials, so it helps food cook faster, and you usually can reduce your oven temperature by about 25 degrees.
- Operate your dishwasher with full loads and air-dry dishes on the energy saver setting. If the manufacturer’s instructions permit, open the door of the dishwasher at the end of the last rinse cycle, rather than using the drying cycle.
- Challenge everyone in the household to gather around one television a few days each week and turn off the extra units.
See the entire list of everyday tips as well as warm weather and cold weather savings tips – broken down by no cost, low cost and investment solutions!
Check out the list here!
Instagram Photo Challenge Contest
What: #PGEhome Instagram Photo Challenge Contest
When: November 17-23
Where: PG&E Instagram page
Why: Win one of seven $100 Home Depot gift cards
Need even more tips on energy usage? Check out My Energy Tips here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.