How To Save Energy
By Craig Schill
Why Should I Try to Save Energy?
With the cost of fossil fuels on the rise, energy efficiency has become a major U.S. concern. There has never been a better time to reduce your energy use. Decreasing your usage of fossil fuels contributes to lowering fuel costs by decreasing consumer demand. There are many benefits to reducing your energy usage, such as:
Smaller home energy bills
Decreases in the use of our already scarce fossil fuels
Decreases the release of contaminants into the environment
Reduction prolongs the useful life of many appliances.
How Can I Save Energy?
With a bit of creativity, you can find a nearly infinite number of ways to save energy. Begin by taking some time to observe where most of your energy use is spent. Both the Energy Star and First Energy systems allow you to input your data to learn specifically how your energy usage compares with that of others. Both resources also provide you with specific tips to reduce energy in those areas. Below is a brief list of ways you can become more energy-efficient:
Insulate your home to keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Replace old windows and doors with energy-efficient ones.
Apply window film to old or large windows to control the internal temperature of your rooms.
In the colder months, turn DOWN the thermostat. Put on an extra layer of clothing to keep warm.
In the warmer months, turn UP the thermostat.
Use fluorescent bulbs rather than incandescent ones.
Turn off lights during the brighter hours of the day, in rooms where lighting is not necessary, and, most importantly, when rooms are unoccupied.
Set the Energy Saving features on machinery, appliances, and other electronics. Many of the tools we use on a daily basis come with these settings available, but disabled.
Set appliances and electronics to go into a sleep mode whenever possible.
When an appliance is not in use, unplug it because it is still using energy otherwise.
Replace old appliances. They typically use more energy than newly-built Energy Star appliances.
Creative Commons photos by Jenn Durfey and UWW ResNET.