Easy & Quick Energy Saving Tricks

Energy conservation has a lot to do with increasing efficient energy use while decreasing energy consumption.  This reduction of energy use can be very simple, and can result in improving our environment and increasing our economic security, all while saving you money.

Here are some easy yet practical ideas to consider to help reduce energy consumption and create lasting change:

  1. Turn the thermostat in your home down during the winter and up in the summer to conserve energy and reduce heating/cooling expenses. Try installing an Energy Star qualified programmable thermostat.
  2. If there are rooms in your home that aren’t in use, shut the doors to those rooms to reduce the amount of area that the heating and air-conditioning systems have to work with.
  3. Purchase energy efficient products and appliances.  Look for EnergyStar labels to help with savings.
  4. Use an energy meter to help identify appliances in your home that use a significant amount of electricity to run.  Free meters are available to check-out at the Medford Public Library.
  5. Be mindful of your water use.  A considerable amount of energy is needed to supply water to your home and treat the wastewater after it has been used.  An unusually high water bill may mean you have an undetected water leak.
  6. Move your refrigerator away from the wall, stove, dishwasher, and heat vents to help it perform more efficiently, and try to limit the time you keep the door open. 
  7. Use pots/pans that are the same size as the burners and use lids when possible so you can cook at lower temperatures.  A significant amount of energy is lost when the pot/pan does not cover the entire burner.
  8. Ensure your water heater is set to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Some water heaters are pre-set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cost you more money and run the potential risk of accidental burns from water too hot. 
  9. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). These provide just as much light with substantially less energy use.  Much of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs is lost as heat, costing you money.
  10. In many homes up to half the energy goes to heating and cooling.  Insulating your heating and cooling ducts is the start to saving money, as well as weather-stripping and sealing leaky windows and doors and installing foam gaskets behind electrical outlet covers.  
  11. Turn off the lights when not in use and/or use motion sensing switches.
  12. In the summer months, use ceiling or room fans to circulate the air.  This will allow you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room.
  13. Install patio covers and solar window screens to shade your building from the sun.  Additional savings can occur from strategically planting trees to shade your structure from sunlight.
  14. Wash full loads and line-dry clothes whenever you can.
  15. Unplug or recycle spare refrigerators if you don’t really need them.  According to National Grid, old refrigerators use up to four times more electricity than newer ones and cost an average of $150 a year to run.  Call National Grid at 1-877-545-4113 to get your old refrigerator recycled for free and receive up to $50 for recycling your old refrigerator.
  16. Replace air conditioning air filters monthly for maximum benefit.  Dirty air filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run more than needed.
  17. Install faucet aerators and replace older showerheads with newer low-flow showerheads to help reduce your hot water usage, save energy, and save money each time you shower.
  18. Close fireplace dampers when not in use.  An open damper is an easy way to let heat escape.
  19. Electronic devices like TVs, computers, and small kitchen appliances draw power when plugged in, even when not in use. Plugging them into a power strip that allows you to turn them all off when you’re not using them will help save money and conserve energy.
  20. Laptops draw about 15-25 watts of electricity when in use.  Desktop computers draw roughly 150 watts of electricity when in use.  Being conscious of turning them off when not in use can save a lot of energy. Old computers that use much more energy can be recycled at many electronic retailers.
  21. Natural daylight, not bright lighting, increases productivity levels of workers, while reducing energy consumption.

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