Life without electricity is hard to imagine. In our homes, we depend on it to power our lights, appliances, and electronics. But in recent years saving electricity at home has become increasingly important. Using electricity without consideration to conserving energy contributes to global warming and leads to massive electricity bills. Though we have electricity at our disposal, there are still some people who don’t know how to utilize electricity. Saving electricity by adopting certain measures is a smart, cost-effective and persuasive environmental action that anyone can take. By following a few simple steps, saving electricity can become a real easy task.
Here are 120 ways to save electricity: Written by: Joel Samonte
Actual photo of Avalon model unit
Replace standard bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light.
Buy bulbs for less. Check out stores and local retailers who offer energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs at discounted prices.
Replace halogen light bulbs with CFLs – Halogen light bulbs can get hot enough to be a fire hazard. Use CFLS instead as they use less energy and don’t get as hot.
Use the right bulb. Make sure you’re using the correct CFL bulb for your light fixture – they come in various sizes and types for different lighting needs
Use motion-detector lights for all your outdoor lighting – they’re convenient and efficient.
Recycle your CFL bulbs. Recycling CFL bulbs prevents the release of mercury into the environment and other materials in the bulbs get reused
Consider using timers to turn lights on in the morning and off during the day.
Replace your five most-used light fixtures and/or bulbs to save in energy costs
Install fluorescent tubes as an efficient way to light your workshop or playroom.
Choose light-colored or opaque lamp shades. Place the lamps in corners so they reflect light from two walls.
Choose outdoor CFLs for outdoor lighting – they last up to 10 times longer than standard bulbs.
When lamps and fixtures have two or more sockets for incandescent light bulbs, consider using single, larger-wattage bulbs rather than filling all the sockets with smaller-wattage bulbs.
Carefully study bulb packages to get the most for your wattage. Wattage does not measure the amount of light – it measures the energy needed to light the bulb.
When buying new lamps consider those with three-way switches. Then use the lower settings whenever possible like when watching television.
Install a skylight. Using natural lighting saves a bunch of energy and produces a much nicer environment besides. Modern skylights are available which let in only the light and not the heat.
Reflect on installing energy efficient LED lighting for garden paths.
Install light shelves. Light shelves are passive devices designed to bounce light deep into a home or building and they may be interior or exterior.
Actual unit of Royal Palms Panglao model unit
Use toaster ovens and microwaves to cook or warm leftovers. You’ll use less energy than cooking with a conventional oven.
Set the temperature of your refrigerator between 30 and 42°F. Use the power-save switch if you have one.
Pull the plug on that second fridge located in your room, garage or utility room.
Repair refrigerator door seals if you feel cold air around the closed door or if moisture is gathering.
Make it a habit to dust your fridge every time you dust your house. Check the coils behind the refrigerator and use coil vacuums or dusters to clean it off and keep costs down.
Replace a refrigerator bought in 1990 with modern energy-efficient models since they cost less to operate than older refrigerators.
Keep your freezer full – it uses less energy than an empty one. For maximum savings, consider filling your freezer with gallon containers of water.
Replace your refrigerator. Choose models with improved insulation and power-saving switches.
Choose energy-efficient appliances. Aside from saving you money, they’re good for the environment as well because they use less energy.
Minimize the amount of time the refrigerator door is open.
Wash and dry several loads at once, so that your dryer isn’t totally cooled down when it heats up for the next load.
Separate wash loads into light and heavy fabrics for the shortest drying times. Or better yet, air-dry your lightest fabrics.
Avoid over-drying your clothes. It wastes energy and it causes static and wrinkling.
Vent your dryer to the outside to lessen the workload on your air conditioner.
Hang dress clothing to air dry on portable laundry racks plus, they’ll also look better.
Wash full loads of clothes when possible. Use less water when smaller loads are necessary.
Clean the dryer lint filter before every load to maintain efficiency of your dryer.
Avoid using high-temperature settings when clothes are not very soiled.
Fold or place on hangers promptly to lessen or avoid ironing.
Turn off your dishwasher after the wash cycle and let your dishes air-dry. You’ll save energy as well as keep your dishwasher from heating up your kitchen.
Set your dishwashers on economy mode so less water and electricity will be used.
Keep the oven door closed while cooking – the temperature can drop by as much as 25 degrees each time you open the oven door.
Grill out more often during the summer. Using the oven in the heat of summer forces your AC to work harder, giving you a higher energy bill.
Use copper-bottomed pots and pans that use heat more efficiently when cooking on the stove.
Keep stove reflector pans clean to reflect more heat upward while cooking.
Turn off your oven or burners when food is almost ready and just let existing heat finish the cooking for you.
Match your pot size to the burner on your stove. Heat is wasted when small pots are used on large burners.
Use tight-fitting covers on pots and pans when cooking on the stove to shorten your cooking time and save energy.
When using conventional ovens, food should be placed on the top rack. The top rack is hotter and will cook food faster.
Turn off kitchen and bath fans immediately after use.
Place food slightly apart on refrigerator shelves for correct air circulation, and remove all heavy wrapping paper before storing foods in the refrigerator.
Defrost chest-type freezers at least 1-2 a year and upright models 2- 3 times a year, and never allow frost build-up to exceed 6mm.
Thaw frozen foods before cooking to save approximately 15 minutes cooking time per 500 grams
Clean gas burners regularly to remove food spill caught in the small holes in the burner rings. This ensures a constant and even gas distribution and flame size for more efficient cooking.
It may test your patience to iron for hours on end, but if you iron large batches of clothing at one time you won’t waste energy reheating the iron every time you want to press something.
Use the correct temperature setting on your iron. An iron can consume as much energy as twenty-four 100 watt light bulbs.
Actual photo of The Courtyards at Brookridge model unit
Avoid energy vampires. Even when they are turned off, home electronics in “standby” mode use energy to power features like clock displays.
Plug electronics into a power strip and then turn the strip off when not in use to save in energy costs.
Look for energy efficient TVs – there are now models that are 30 percent more efficient than other models.
Buy a laptop instead of a computer – they use less energy than desktop computers.
Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using a screen saver so less electricity is used during periods of inactivity.
Consider upgrading to a flat panel LCD monitor. They use approximately 1/3 the energy as equal-sized CRT monitors.
Adjust the brightness on your monitor. The brighter a monitor, the more energy it uses. A monitor’s brightness can be reduced dramatically if used in a dark room, for example.
Shut down your computer when you leave the office or home for more than two hours.
Gamers – consider an upgrade to your video card. Latest video cards are becoming more powerful and efficient.
Actual photo of Astele model unit
Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer and run it at low speed, but clockwise in the rainy season.
Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Turn off kitchen and bath exhaust fans to save even more.
Clean or change your AC’s air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance.
Make sure your AC has a rating- your AC will be more efficient.
Set your thermostat fan switch to “auto” to save energy. Air keeps running constantly when it’s left in the “on” position.
Block the sun from overheating your home- use shades, blinds and drapes inside and use awnings, trees and shrubs outside.
Insulate your walls with injected foam insulation to help you save energy by keeping hot outside air from seeping through porous block walls.
Give your AC a tune-up. An inefficient AC system can result in high monthly bills.
Open interior doors so that cooled air flows freely throughout your home.
Repair leaky ducts to reduce heating and cooling costs.
Install attic insulation and seal any attic leaks to reduce high home cooling costs.
Check for household leaks to make sure air isn’t escaping through openings such as doors and windows.
Decorate for a cooler home by hanging light-colored curtains that allow light to enter a room while blocking some of the sun’s rays, and light-colored paint to reflect heat.
Scope out all the heating and cooling vents in your home, and make sure there is no furniture, drapery or other obstructions blocking the airflow.
Close unused air vents. If you have central AC you can close air vent in rooms you’re not using so you’re not paying to cool them.
Plant trees to provide shade on the sunny side of your home.
Use ceiling fans to cool off for less. Ceiling fans use no more electricity than a standard light bulb. But be sure to turn fans off when you leave — they only cool people, not rooms.
Install more ceiling fans. Because the breeze of a fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler.
Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature during the day.
Raise the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees to save on your cooling costs.
Actual unit of Eagles’ Nest model unit
Cover all bare floors. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump’s temperature activates the heat strip, which uses tons of energy.
Limit your use of portable heaters. They’re great for “spot” heating, but running a 1,500-watt heater 24/7 can be expensive.
Don’t block air vents with drapes and furniture.
Get an energy-efficient heat pump and you could cut your heating costs in half.
Change the filters in your heating system every month for optimum efficiency.
Give your air compressor space to work efficiently. Never stack anything against your HVAC or drape anything over it.
Set your thermostat to 60 degrees if going on vacation but don’t turn it off.
Heat your home with the sun’s help. Leave window shades or blinds open during the daytime.
Consider using solar heat to supplement your normal heating source.
Lower your thermostat every time you leave the house.
Actual photo of The Courtyards at Banawa model unit
Always use cold water for washing. Laundry detergent works just as well.
Check your pipes for leaks, which can drain your energy savings.
Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce your hot water use.
Turn off your water heater if you plan on leaving home for a few days. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
Shorten those showers to cut hot water costs.
Insulate the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater. It’ll keep your comfort high and your energy bills low.
Install a solar water heater to save energy and money by using solar power.
Get an insulation wrap to help your old water heater heat in more effectively.
Reduce your water heater temperature setting from 140 degrees to 120 degrees — it will save you money while keeping water hot enough for showers and cleaning dishes.
Look for the guide label when purchasing a new water heater — if a more efficient heater is more expensive, you’ll save money over time.
Make sure you are washing a full load if you like using hot water for your laundry.
Stop that dripping hot water faucet. Leaky faucets not only increase water bills but also increase gas or electricity use for heating the wasted water.
Install a timer for your water heater that will turn it off when you are not at home.
Choose the right water heater for your needs. While they may promise savings, tankless models are pricey to install – and on-demand water heaters may actually increase your electric bill.
Drain the Sediment. Tanks naturally build up sediment, which reduces efficiency and makes saving energy a challenge. Draining the tank will keep it running efficiently.
Turn the water off in the shower while you’re soaping up or shampooing. This is a lot easier if you install a cheap screw-in pushbutton switch
Do all household cleaning with cold water if possible.
Actual photo of Mabolo Garden Flats model unit
Install high-performance windows, screens and films to protect wood and artwork and upholstery from UV rays while saving energy.
Eliminate “hot spots” in your home by using High-performance windows, solar window screens and qualified window films.
Consider high-performance windows before you replace your AC system. They’re so efficient that they may help reduce the size and cost needed for a AC system.
Install high-performance windows with double-glazing and spectrally selective coatings that reduce heat gain and avoid cranking up your AC.
Look for a rating label when shopping for new windows. It means the window’s performance is certified.
Actual photo of Argao Royal Palms – Hazel model unit
Reduce the strain on your AC by applying reflective coating. This will help you save by decreasing the amount of heat coming into your home.
Keep your roof lasting longer with reflective roofs, not only do they reduce heat buildup, they also prevent the expansion and contraction that degrade roofs.
In sunny climates, homes and buildings with white roofs required up to 40 percent less energy for cooling than those with black roofs. An inexpensive white, elastomeric coating will do the job and can be found at most hardware stores.
And lastly, do a home energy audit. This survey analyzes your home’s structure, appliances and insulation, as well as your family’s lifestyle.
The good news is that you don’t have to be an environmental scientist to save energy. You just need a little push to get you started – and soon, you’ll be saving on that power bill. Conserving electricity allows us to make sure that future generations will still be able to enjoy the beauty and gifts that this world has to offer. And what better way to help than to start saving electricity at home. Cut a little energy and you’ll be saving money in no time. So what are you waiting for? Let the saving begin!
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