Why save energy??
First because we need to be more green/planet friendly.
The planet only has x number of resources and we are using them all
It is in everyone’s best interest to conserve.
But then do we care about everyone?
Let’s just look at our little part of the world(Our
What do we spend on utilities each month.
Can we reduce or change that will help, without really changing our
quality of life.
What habits and things can we do to make a difference in our own world(Our
The major items that use resources and cost money, are
heating and air conditioning.
Hot water – First thing you do each day it take
a shower. You jump in the shower, turn on the hot water and then add
some cold water to cool it down enough to keep from being burned. Why
not reduce the thermostat on the hot water heater. Turn it down on mark
on the dial. Try your showers a few days, are you still adding cold
water to take a shower? Turn it down another mark on the dial. When
you can take a shower and enjoy the heat of it but do not need the cold
to balance the temp, your water heater is set to save you some money.
Not much, but every little bit helps.
Now you ask what about hot water for washing clothes?
Which clothes need hot water and why? Does the extra heat you had really
provide anything that is truly needed in cleaning your clothes? What
about washing dishes? Most dishwashers have a heating element to heat
their own water. What about washing your hands? Do you always reach
down and turn the hot water on first to wash your hands? Do you wait
until the water heats up? If not, then why turn on the hot water, make
a habit of turning on the cold water to wash your hands. You are going
to use soap anyway, I hope, and that is what will kill germs. So now
we have adjusted our hot water heater and started a new habit of turning
on the faucet on the right, cold water, to wash hands or rinse things
in the sink.
Heating – This is one of the easiest to adjust.
If you have the heater on, turn the thermostat down. If you have the
A/C on, Turn the thermostat Up!! Whatever you have it set at is too
high. Take it down first, at least 5 degrees. More if you really want
to make a difference. If you get a little cool, use that afgan on the
back of sofa or one those sweaters or sweatshirts in your drawer you
never use. Do not use space heaters or electric blankets. If you are
cold in bed, use an extra blanket or sleep closer to your life partner.
Maybe that will help heat things up there as well… Double benefit…;-))
When you have gotten use to that, turn it down again.
Invest in a computer thermostat and set daytimes to cooler when you
are not home and only to heat when you are home. Set it to reduce the
temp after midnight and until 6am or whatever time you get up. You can
always turn it up manually if you are home unusual times.
I turned my heat and air conditioning off March 1st
and it is now May 1st. I realize some people live in area’s that
make this impossible, but a large number of people live here in the
same town and same street and I am sure they have used both in the last
Air conditioning – This is the costly and hardest
to adjust. This takes some initiative and will power on your part. First
thing is to look at your house, the facing of windows, then connection
of rooms and living areas. First look for windows that do not get a
lot of sun. Check that you can open these and that you have good screens.
You might also look at 3rd party locking devices so that you can leave
a window open 6-8 inches and have it locked in that position so you
are not inviting thieves and vandals.
I am lucky, my windows are behind hedges and not easy
to see that they are open. You also should look at your storm doors
or screen doors. Make sure those are working. You need to find the part
of the house that most often gets the breeze and then the other side
of the house to open to let air flow thru. Again, not a solution for
all because some people have allergies, but then maybe that would only
effect you in the early spring, not all year. I have left two windows
in one room and one in kitchen open about 6 inches not for two months.
It gives cool fresh air at night and helps to get the house full of
cool air to take it into the daytime. It allows a little fresh air in
the afternoon. Now you need to locate your favorite chair or areas that
you use most often. Do you already have a ceiling fan there? If not,
think about it. I find I feel as good with a little air moving as I
would with cold air standing still. Also when you come home from work,
do you leave your work clothes on or change? Why not change to shorts
and a t-shirt or small top. I make sure that my fridge has the ice trays
full too. A cool glass of water is not only good for you but will provide
some cooling for you too.
When summer gets here and this method is no longer viable,
then lets start with setting it 5 degrees warmer than you usually have
it and then again use ceiling fans, where shorts and drink some more
Your reward will be that you have saved yourself some
cash. Maybe only enough to go to a movie or out to dinner, but at least
think, while at the theatre or dining, you are using their air conditioning
for free….;-)) Also think, that there are many people in the world
with no air conditioning or heat.