In this time of recession, all of us are looking for ways to conserve energy and cut back on our utility bills. For some this means taking up reading rather than watching TV or tooling around on the computer. Others lower the thermostat and resort to wearing sweaters and wool socks when the outside temperature drops. And it never hurts to purchase energy-saving appliances when you go to replace your fridge or dishwasher. And yet, people often miss out on some of the simplest techniques when it comes to eco-friendly energy conservation. Here are a few things you may have failed to consider when it comes to the most cost-effective, energy-efficient way to run your household.
The first thing you should do is schedule an in-home energy audit. Technicians from your utility provider (or an independent company) can come to your house and check the premises for leaks around doors, windows, and other seams, as well as pinpoint trouble spots with pipes and insulation. Based upon their recommendations, you can determine if you need to install new (or better) insulation, seal cracks, and/or put weather stripping in place to lower your electric bill. Just a few minor repairs could make a huge difference in how much energy you use throughout extreme weather during the summer or winter months.
The next area you’ll want to tackle is your use of electronics. Even if you turn them off when not in use, you should be aware that they are susceptible to phantom drain. This is a phenomenon by which electrical devices continue to siphon miniscule amounts of energy whenever they’re plugged in, regardless of whether they’re turned off or in conservation mode. By unplugging them when they’re off, you can prevent this wasteful energy use. In addition, you should be aware that incessantly charging electronic devices leads to similarly squandered electricity. Check your devices frequently and unplug them when charged. Believe it or not, this can even help to extend the life of your batteries.
Finally, consider the lighting in your home. CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs) have become popular because they use less energy and last longer (cancelling out their increased initial cost). But did you know that LEDs (light emitting diodes) are even more energy-efficient? Although they are not yet widely available, they can often be found online (you will simply have to purchase fixtures for them as they do not generally fit in standard fixtures used for other types of bulbs). In addition, you should make every effort to use natural lighting throughout the day. And of course, follow the old adage and turn off the light when you leave a room.
Conserving energy can be an expensive and time-consuming proposition if you want to go all out with it. But there are also a lot of easy, cheap, and effective ways to cut back on the amount of electricity you use in your home. By following a few simple guidelines when it comes to checking for problem areas, turning things off, and looking for alternatives, you can do your part for planet Earth and save a little money while you’re at it.
Leon Harris writes for Southern States, the quality name in high voltage switching. Whether you are in need of circuit switchers, power fuses, or other electrical power transmission and distribution needs, Southern States will tailor a custom solution for you.