With the price of gas, home heating and electricity always increasing, there`s never been a better time to take a look at some ways to conserve energy. Not only is energy conservation good for the environment, it`s good for your bank balance. You can save money by making some very small changes in how you use energy, and you will be pleased and surprised by the difference that you can make.
Driving Do`s - Save gas, time and money!
- Combine errands.
Reducing the distance you drive each week, either by driving to closer stores, or taking car of several errands on one trip, will add up to long term savings.
- Keep your car well maintained.
Replacing oil and filters at the recommended times will help your fuel efficiency. Check your tire inflation too - under inflated tires can reduce your gas mileage by up to 3%.
- Don`t drive too fast.
Sticking to speed limits isn`t just the law, it`s also a good way to save money. By driving at a steady pace, you`re more likely to use fuel more efficiently, resulting in better gas mileage. It`s estimated that every mile per hour of speed over 60 mph is equivalent to paying an extra 4 cents per gallon for gas.
- Check your roof-rack.
If you use a roof-rack, consider buying an aerodynamic 'box' that attaches to the rack, and which allows you to secure items 'inside' it. This will reduce much of the drag that is usually associated with luggage on a rack.
- Don`t overload your car.
Just before leaving for a long trip, make sure that you only have exactly what you need in your trunk. Don`t load your car up with items that you won`t require, especially if they are very heavy.
- Newer can be better.
If you`re driving an older make or model of car, bear in mind that if you buy a newer model, you will probably be getting a more fuel efficient vehicle.
Daily Do`s - Quick, easy ways to start saving at Home
- Is it really off?
Did you know that even when you think you`ve switched your television off, it`s still using energy? It`s better to switch it off at the wall, unless it`s a device that requires constant power to keep a timer or clock accurate. Most televisions, computers, or music systems can be simply switched off and unplugged when not in use. Also, even if you`re just popping out of the room for a few minutes, you should switch your television or music system off. Even saving this much energy can eventually add up into significant savings.
- No daily dishwashing.
Dishwashers should be run only when full, unless it features a setting for 'light' loads. Check filters regularly, and if you need to pre-rinse dishes, use cold water. If you use it everyday, try not using it one or two days a week.
- Turn it down.
Just changing your thermostat settings by a few degrees can make a big difference to your energy bills. For instance, a slight change from 72 to 66 during the winter, and vice versa during the summer, could result in some considerable savings.
- Do a full load.
Try to do full loads of laundry - don`t just half-fill the washer. If you can`t wait, make sure that you use the correct setting on your washer or dryer - if you only have a half-load, use the settings that reflect that. And don`t overload the dryer - it takes longer to dry the clothes, and will use more energy. If you can use warm water in a wash instead of hot, then do so. A cold water wash is even more efficient. Make sure the filters are regularly cleaned to prevent overheating.
- Lights out.
When you leave a room, switch the light off. If you feel a room needs more light, think about painting the walls a lighter color - this can be a very effective way of making better use of existing light, and you can use lower wattage bulbs in lighter color rooms. Also, you may want to consider using more efficient fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs.
Saving Through Home Improvement
- Search for the Star.
When shopping for new appliances, especially refrigerators, look for the ENERGY STAR logo. This indicates that it`s part of a national program to make such items more efficient at using energy. Less energy means more savings.
- Wrap them up.
Keep hot water pipes well insulated, and repair any leaky faucets around your home. Hot water faucets are more likely to leak, but are easily fixed with some time and a quick internet search for 'faucet repair'. Don`t let savings drip away!
- Showered with savings.
As you know, showers use less water than baths, which is a great way to save money. But did you know that water-saving shower heads can help even more? Reducing the amount of hot water you use not only results in energy savings, but also in less water use.
- Seal and Save.
Consider improving the insulation in your home. Check for areas where heat is either escaping or getting in. Older windows and frames can be a potential area for improvement, and make sure that your doorways are properly sealed.