10 Ways to Conserve Energy

It doesn’t matter whether you consider Global Warming a fact or a hoax. The one thing for certain is that we do harm the environment every day. These are things we can do to not only save and conserve energy but also help the environment.

10) Follow The Three ‘R’ - Recycle/Reuse/Reduce
American’s have become a very wasteful society. When our founding fathers were creating the nation in which we live, they didn’t waste anything. Washington at Valley Forge, the frontier families who settled west of the Mississippi even the families of World War II used everything.

Today nearly every item that we purchase is in some type of disposable wrapper. It’s used once and thrown in the trash and using another piece of a resource that is diminishing. Even though by following these three ‘R’s’ one may not see a direct savings, the cost of products might be less. A recycled aluminum can require less energy to reuse than having a new one produced from the raw materials.

9) Drive Smart
There are a number of ways that we don’t drive smart. We are a mobile society and don’t always consider everything before we get in a vehicle to go someplace. How many of us have gone one place, come back only to realize we also need to go to another? Planning your trips will allow you to use less fuel as well as save time.

One of the biggest consumption of fuel in a vehicle comes from poor maintenance. Have the engine routinely serviced will keep it running at peak efficiently? Don’t forget the tire pressure. Tires at the wrong pressure, especially ones that is low are a big fuel waster. And don’t forget to have the brakes checked. A dragging brake not only causes the brakes to wear out faster, it will make the engine work harder using more gas.

When driving, don’t make rapid stops and starts as well. This, as well as exceeding the speed limit, can quickly reduce gas mileage. By using the speed control on long trips, the vehicle runs at a constant speed.

8) Heat or Cool the Living/Work Space – Not the World
Does the building have enough insulation? Older homes and building probably don’. Windows are also an area where energy costs are moving from their desired purpose to change the temperature of the outside air.

Many homes are heating or cooling areas that are seldom used. By setting up heating and cooling areas, one can save money and energy by keeping the seldom used area warmer or cooler than the rest of the house. Many people may like a warm living room in the winter, but rather have a cool bedroom. This would be another reason for separate environmental areas.

Use a programmable thermostat. By using a programmable thermostat you can automatically turn down the heat when it’s least needed, at night when sleeping or during the day when no one is home. Have it raised to a comfortable level shortly before getting up or arriving home. Be certain that it is the correct type of programmable thermostat for your heating or cooling system. Some heat pumps and air conditioning systems require specialized programmable thermostats.

7) Use Water Wisely
Water may be free, but getting it from the ground to the home costs a lot. There’s the cost of pumping it from one location to another. As well as the cost of treating it to be at a useable state. And the costs removing and cleaning the waste water.

6) Use Energy-Efficient Products
Many older appliances use a great deal more energy than a new one. The 20 year old refrigerator may be working fine, but a newer one could use half of the energy of the older one saving as much as 100 dollars per year or more.

Water heaters can use as much as 14% of the energy bill. The older it gets the less efficient it is with one over 10 years being as much as 50% efficient as it was when new.

And don’t forget the light bulbs. Most of the energy used by old style incandescent lights is turned into heat not light. A 15-Watt Compact Fluorescent Light gives the same light as a 60-Watt incandescent using a quarter of the energy.

5) Turn Off and Unplug
Unplug devices that use a transformer when not in use. Example; battery chargers. Whenever these devices are plugged in they consume minor amounts of energy. Many devices such as TV and DVD players still use energy when not in use. Unplug them when they won’t be used for a long period of time.

Turn off computers at night, and use sleep mode as often as possible. When not in use turn off televisions, radios and other entertainment equipment.

4) Light the area reasonably
Office lighting, as much as anything else in the office, is one of the items that are the biggest user of electric each month. Reducing the energy used by lights can make a quick and noticeable impact to the bill.

Many offices either use too much light or does not use the most efficient type of lighting. It’s important to have enough lights in an area so that it’s safe, but there may be places where lights can be removed, the size of the fixture reduced or more economical sources of light are use.

Use task lights to reduce the amount of overhead lights. Task lights puts the right amount of light on the project at hand allowing the room lights to be at a lower light level, therefore saving energy.

Don’t light areas that aren’t being occupied. Install times and occupancy sensors. These are great in offices for restroom, storage closets and copier rooms.

3) Make it a Habit
A habit are those things that we do without thinking. Developing a habit takes time. At first it may take some constant thoughts and reminders. By spending time considering your actions and doing the things to save energy each day, these actions will become a habit.

2) Pass Along the Word
It’s amazing how many people there are out there that just don’t know, don’t have an understanding or just needs to have a person they know and respect to assure them. Pass along the information. Let your friends know when you replace an appliance and see a drop in the electric bill. Or when they throw a plastic bottle or newspaper in the trash let them know it can be recycled and used again. The more people hear it from someone they know, the more apt they are to follow the advice.

1) Switch Off the Lights
When being the last to leave a room turn out the lights. It will always be saving energy with few exceptions also saving money.

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