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5 Ways to Creatively Save (Energy)

January 26, 2011

This guest post is written by Leon Harris of Southern States. If you would like to write a guest post for this site, then please visit guidelines and suggestions for guest posts at Ez DIY Electricity.

There’s no denying that we’re wasteful when it comes to energy. We’ve gotten so used to having it on hand that we practically lose the ability to function during a blackout. We leave lights and electronics on day and night (whether we’re using them or not) and we keep our homes at a constant temperature regardless of the climate outside (be it sweltering hundred-degree heat or below-zero blizzard). All of this contributes to massive energy consumption and an attendant utility bill that you dread every month. However, there are tons of ways to save when it comes to energy usage. By getting creative with cutting your electricity, you can help the planet and yourself. Here are a few ways to pull it off.

  1. Energy audit. Your local utility provider can probably send a technician to your house to perform this survey (although there are private companies, many of them also offer repairs, meaning your audit could be questionable). You’ll get a full report of problem areas that are leaking your bought air to the outside world. From there you can update or add insulation, install weather stripping, and seal any leaks to conserve more energy.
  2. Go old school. During the summer, or any time it’s warm outside, consider eschewing appliances in favor of the old ways. Hang laundry to dry on a line rather than throwing it in the dryer, and cook your dinner on the grill. Also, consider washing dishes by hand. A sink full of suds uses a lot less water and electricity. And of course, rely on the natural light provided by the sun whenever possible.
  3. Drop the drain. You may think that powering off your electronics means they stop drawing energy. In fact, they continue to suck up “vampire energy” and unless you unplug them, you’re going to pay for it. If you want to cut back on this phantom drain, simply keep electronics hooked up to a few power strips that you can easily unplug when not in use. As a side note, keep close watch on charging devices and detach them when charging is complete (to save on wasted electricity and keep your batteries going strong).
  4. Get a timer. Newer digital thermostats almost all come with a timer attached that allows you to input a turn-on and shut-off schedule for use. Simply set it to the “off mode” during the hours you’re absent from your home and then have the AC or heat kick back on about 30 minutes before you return (so that your house isn’t an extreme temperature when you walk in). If you’re home all day, set it to moderate while you sleep instead (since you don’t need a ton of heat if you’re cozy under the covers).
  5. Look for the energy-star label. You may think this energy-saving system only applies to lighting and appliances, but there are actually about 50 categories of products that conform to their standards (using at least 30% less energy). You could be saving on electronics (cordless phones, TVs, battery chargers), plumbing (water heaters), and even building materials (roofing, windows, doors), all of which are available from energy-star approved manufacturers. Check out the Energy Star website for more information on their products.

Leon Harris writes for Southern States, the quality name in high voltage switching. Whether you are in need of a high voltage disconnect switch, power fuses, or anything for your electrical power transmission and distribution needs, Southern States will tailor a custom solution for you.

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