Looking to cut back due to a tight budget or ready to go green? Here are 10 quick and easy tips to accomplish both:
- Unplug appliances and electronics. TVs, computers and kitchen appliances, as well as cell phone and laptop chargers, all use energy when they are plugged in—even if they are turned off.
- Use power strips. “Smart” power strips automatically turn off when electronics are off or when one main unit (like your personal computer) is powered down.
- Turn off lights. When you’re not in the room or not in the house, there’s no need for all the lights to be on.
- Clean and replace furnace or air conditioner filters. Dirty filters block air flow, increase energy bills and shorten equipment life.
- In the warmer months, keep the shades and blinds down on south-, east- and west-facing windows. In the colder months, open them up and let the sun in.
- Activate “sleep” features on your computer and office equipment. When they go unused for a long period of time, they power down.
- Lower the thermostat. Wear a sweater around the house and put an extra blanket on the bed at night.
- Use fans instead of air conditioning when possible or combine their use to turn down the air temperature a bit.
- Close vents and doors to unused rooms.
- Wash your laundry with cold water. It’s just as effective.
Check with the Alliance to Save Energy at www.ase.org for more energy- and money-saving tips or to subscribe to their free online newsletter.