Amy Suarez | |

Utility bill’s gotta smart!
Economising on energy, or water, or other resources comes naturally to people living off the grid. But the off-grid ways of life can also help grid-tied householders reduce consumption and save money.

These simple ideas do not require a big investment: we are not about to recommend you spend a lot of money on something like an energy-efficient heating/cooling system or expensive CFLs for your house. Nor do you have to invest a lot of time researching product ingredient lists and do-it-yourself projects. While these things all play key roles in moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, there is plenty you can do in your home right now to make it more energy efficient and save you money, shrink your home’s carbon footprint, and it will hardly cost you a dime. You’re probably even doing some of these already without realizing how “green” you really are.

1 A dishwasher uses more energy to dry dishes than to wash them. If your dishwasher doesn’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open to let moisture escape.

2 Keep heating vents clear of furniture and clutter, allowing air to circulate freely.

3 Turn off the lights when you’re not going to be in a room or when a sunny day makes them unnecessary.

4 Close doors to the outside to keep heated or cooled air in. It’s tempting to leave the door open behind you when you’re making a “quick” trip to the garage – but it will take less energy from you to pull the door closed behind you than it will take your air conditioner or furnace to make up for the loss.

5 If you have room, hang your clothes out to dry instead of drying. Dryers use an incredible amount of energy (often the second biggest energy hog in your home, after your furnace.)

6 Clean refrigerator coils twice a year, more if you have pets. Condenser coils are located at the bottom or rear of your refrigerator. If they are allowed to accumulate dust and dirt, as much as 25 percent more energy is required to maintain proper temperature.

7 Keep your refrigerator and freezer full – less cold air will be lost when the refrigerator and freezer doors are opened if there are plenty of items inside to help retain it.

8 When it’s time to give the oven a good cleaning, use the self-cleaning feature right after you’ve used it to bake something – you will use less energy to get the oven to the necessary temp since it will already be hot.

9 Never turn your thermostat way up or way down to speed heating or cooling. This forces your unit to work harder, stay on longer and use more energy.

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4 Responses to “9 simple ways to a greener home”

  1. ken stover

    I’m looking for a pedal powered pump to circulate my hot water heat. I am open to any ideas you may have.

    Reply
  2. feemer

    compact flourescent lights in your most used lights, such as kitchen, kitchen table, living/family room, and computer room, AND put one in the light for your garage door opener

    Reply
  3. Greg P

    Here are several everyday practices we follow:
    Unplug your electricity vampires (items with clocks, LEDs, tvs, etc).
    Try to use naturql lighting with larger windows facing north ( northern hemisphere). This avoids the solar heat loads.
    We live in an area where we can do simple solar hot water heating (the Philippines are tropical islands).
    Don’t use a dishwasher.
    Was clothes by hand.
    Eat fresh fruits and vegetables (grow them if you can).
    Consider cooking meats with the acids from citric fruits.
    Recycle.

    Reply
  4. coomadoug

    How about a fridge device that freezes helium gas into a liquid and stores the liquid to circulate when the solar has no sun

    Another way to store solar energy

    Also what about re employing the old heat banks. They are heavy metal things that stored heat energy of off peak for later use

    Why not do the same with solar now

    Reply

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