When it comes to energy consumption, less is more. The less you use the air conditioner, heater, and lights, for example, the more good you can do both for yourself and the environment. If your energy bills are burning a hole in your pocket, consider these green tips for cooling it off.
That pesky myth that you need to wash your clothes in hot or warm water simply isn’t true. Your laundry will come out just as fresh if you use only cold water, and you’ll also be saving the energy that your washing system used to require to heat water. But if you really want to make a dent in your energy bill, you should also consider hanging your clothes out to dry instead of tumbling them in an electric dryer. When you decide that it’s time for a new washer and dryer altogether, remember than front-loading machines take less energy to run than top loaders.
Green climate control
Just because you’re going green with your energy usage doesn’t mean that you have to eschew the air conditioner and the heater altogether. You can still keep the house at a comfortable temperature with a few simple guidelines. For example, install a programmable thermostat that automatically shuts off when you’re away and at night time. And when you are at home, turn the temperature up or down by a couple of degrees, depending on what season you’re in, so that your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard. It also doesn’t help to keep a collection of soft, cuddly blankets around the house to wrap up in if you catch a chill.
Let there be light, but don’t let it burn a hole in your electricity budget. You can save on lighting in two simple steps. First, replace older model incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use far less energy and are just as brilliant. Next, maximise the amount of natural sunlight that your home gets during the day by opening the window shades. And of course you should also continue to follow the time-tested advice of turning out the lights before leaving the room.
Green bill paying
No, this isn’t about going paperless, although that’s a good idea, too. Green bill paying refers to getting the most efficient energy service available in your area. Don’t be afraid to compare energy prices, especially if you haven’t shopped around for electricity and gas in a while. There are plenty of companies that use green resources to produce energy that may also cost less than your current company. Using the Internet to do research could connect you to all of the information you need to make an informed decision about which company would offer you the best energy prices.
Once you start to think green, what other areas of your life — and your budget — can you apply this advice to?