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Top Tips to Save Energy Around the House

Likely it’s not a stretch to say you would appreciate a lower energy bill every month. You probably already engage in a variety of energy-saving practices, such as turning off the lights when not in use and hollering at your kids to stop staring blank-faced into an open refrigerator, waiting for some new options to magically appear. But, as conscious as you are, you may not know what appliances and electronics are costing you the most.

The appliances that use the most energy on a ratio scale may surprise you. According to Energy.gov, your laptop only uses about 50 kilowatts per hour, while your 61-inch flat screen uses around 170, and your washer uses about 500. Meanwhile, a furnace fan, whether it is blowing heated air through your ducts or conditioned air, accounts for 12 percent of the average American’s annual residential energy costs.

The biggest hogs of energy consumption are your water heater, clothes dryer and dishwasher, which use 5,500, 5,000 and 2,400 kilowatts per hour, respectively. To put that into perspective, you can wash clothes for 10 hours on the same amount of energy you use when running your dryer for one.

Take These Steps

While it requires extra work and may feel less luxurious, a few simple adjustments can save you a bundle of cash.

  • Use a clothes line. According to consumerenergycenter.org, the average annual cost of running a clothes dryer is $85.
  • Wash in cold water. The North Shore Gas Company reports that by washing your clothes using the cold-cold wash/rinse cycles, you can save up to $150 per year.
  • Moderate home temperatures. Draw the blinds in your home on hot days, lower your air conditioner’s fan speed and keep all the filters and registers clean.

Porky Little Energy Bandits

National Geographic Daily News reported in August that there are three energy hogs lurking in your home that leech electricity from the grid even when you aren’t using them. N.G. reports that there are six primary energy bandits that you probably aren’t even aware of:

  • Set-Top Boxes – Not only do they deliver cable or satellite TV into your home and tell you what time it is, set-top boxes function like computers and constantly communicate with remote content sources even when they (and your television) are off. Visit bundle.tv and other satellite providers to see what kind of boxes with energy-saving features are available.
  • Microwaves – These appliances continue to sap energy off the line even when they aren’t in use in order to power the clock and the electronic push button controls. An Appliance Standards Awareness Project study found that the average microwave is only used 70 hours a year, but sucks up an additional 35 kilowatt hours.
  • Game Consoles – Failing to shut off your gaming console after using it can cost you an additional $100 per year.

Unplugging these three appliances can save you a noticeable amount of money each year.

Author: Tom Jackson

I believe clean, renewable energy is key to the evolution of society as a whole. Solar powers our planet, why not harness it to power humanity? Let's power our homes, our work, and our vehicles with solar energy. It begins with raising awareness and encouraging those around us to go green.

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