Save Your Energy!

I never knew raising kids required so much energy! And I’m not just talking about the energy that I expend chasing my kids around all day. I’m talking about the energy I use in my home to feed, wash, entertain, and clean up after them. Americans use nearly a million dollars worth of energy every minute…EVERY MINUTE! The good news is that it’s much easier than you think to reduce your contribution to that figure, trimming your monthly energy bill while helping you protect the planet. Here are some easy ideas for reducing energy consumption in your home:

Control Your Temperature: About 2/3 of the money you spend on energy is used to control your home’s temperature. Make a minor adjustment here and you’ll be looking at big savings on your energy bill. During the summer months, aim for 78 degrees Fahrenheit and keep drapes or blinds closed over sunny windows to reduce heat from the sun. In the winter, set it to around 68 degrees; even lower (try 55 degrees) when you go to sleep or are away for the day. Take advantage of the sun’s energy by leaving shades and blinds open on sunny days, and then closing them at night to reduce heat loss.

Pull The Plug: Don’t let “phantom” energy users drain away your energy! Use a power strip to turn off televisions, stereos, and computer systems when you are not using them and unplug appliances such as phone chargers, extra refrigerators, and printers until you need them.

See Stars: Energy Star appliances use less energy than comparable models, so if it’s time to replace that old toaster oven or computer, make sure you look for the Energy Star logo.

Install CFLs: Swap out regular light bulbs for energy-saving, long-lasting compact fluorescents (CFLs) to save both energy and cash. CFLs cost a few cents more than standard bulbs, but they use 75% less energy and they last ten times as long.

Tell Your Fridge To Chill: Check to see if your fridge comes equipped with a power saving feature…if so, use it! Set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit; and your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your refrigerator and freezer full (without overfilling) to maximize efficiency. Also, be sure to check the gaskets around your fridge to make sure they are clean and tight to lock in cold air (Test this by closing a scrap of paper in the refrigerator door with part of it sticking out. If it is difficult to pull out, the gaskets are good. If the paper pulls out easily, it’s time to replace them.)

You can read more from Jenn and enter her contest to win a year’s subscription to Kiwi magazine at her blog, The Green Parent.

Original post for 5 Minutes for Going Green

2 Responses to Save Your Energy!
  1. Beth (Coming Up For Air)
    July 21, 2008 | 5:36 pm

    I LOVE it when I read posts like this that are so informational and I realize that I’m already doing all of it! YAY!! Good stuff Jenn!!

  2. The Sisters Talk Movies
    July 24, 2008 | 1:43 pm

    […] Green’s Jenn offers a better option to watching DVDs in Save Your Energy! […]