March 15, 2011

Assignment #17

Energy usage

First track your meter readings and make sure they match up with your bill. Also look over your bill for "hidden costs". There may be a few fees you can avoid.

Then go thru your home. Things like a tv, computer should be on a surge protector. Make sure items you do not normally use are unplugged if possible. Try to see what things you can do to reduce your energy use. The biggest energy culprits are 1. Heating/Cooling, 2. Hot water heater 3. Fridge/Freezer. Make sure all three are running as efficiently as possible. They make up about 60% of you homes electrical usage.

With spring here, you can put a fan in your windows to keep the house cool. We do this thru the summer. Not only does it save us $ but we seem to be able to breath better. We buy two large powerful fans for about $40 each. $80 a summer is much cheaper than $300 a month elec bill.

A full fridge and freezer work more efficiently. If you dont have alot of food to store fill soda bottles with water and fill up your empty space. These also come in handy on those hot summer days :)

Turn the dryer off, and use the clothes line. Indoors or out doors hang as much as you can to dry.

Some people swear by CFL bulbs. I prefer incandescent for most uses. But we reduce to a 60 watt. When I need light, I need light and I have 100 watts on hand for those occasions ( like sewing).

Turn down your hot water tank, take shorter showers. Also if you can reuse bath water to water plants. ( I plug the tub and  wash our cloth diapers while I shower.) Wash dishes by hand using a small bowl of soapy water in the sink instead of filling the sink with water. Rinse with cold water. Or only run the dishwasher when full.

 There are many more ways to cut energy costs. What things have you done?


  1. I use fans in every room and I don't turn on the AC until the thermostat reaches 85 degrees, and even then I only use the AC in the afternoon/evening, then open the windows back up at night and in the mornings. Gotta get in the habit of turning off my computer, though.

    Awesome tips, Nicole!

  2. Also, apartment or not, I weather-stipped my front door to keep the cool air in during summer and warn air in winter. I bought sheets of styrofoam insulation (the 4 x 8' sheets used in building construction) and cut it to fit each of my windows. It helps block out the heat in the summer and cold in the winter. I take it out in spring and fall when I have the windows open.

  3. Great suggestions! I find when we're outside more our electric bill goes down. We're prone to having the TV and computer on, unnecessary lights, etc when we're inside. I also try to "fill" the oven when it's on, baking several things at the same temperature instead of doing one at a time. For example, I'll bake 2 loaves of bread, granola bars and cookies at the same temperature - snacks and bread for a week in one bake. We also insulted our exposed pipes. Is bathwater OK for plants? Never heard of that. I do save water in bowls as I'm running hot for something so as not to waste the water coming in.

  4. yep, my grandpa use to drain his washer to his garden. I am sure there are some soaps you shouldn't use, and some delicate plants probably wont handle it, but most of them should be fine.

  5. well we do use air conditioner as we only have one fan and it isn't very powerful. My freezer is always full so no wasting it, but I do like to make sure that no extra lights are on or if we can manage with out them I'll turn them off and then open blinds instead, an open windows. Besides, I hate taking a shower for more than 5 minutes, I must be a cat. LOL


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