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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 up.
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 Home).
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 Home).

The major items that use resources and cost money, are hot water,
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 two months.

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 iced water….;-))

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.


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