Home energy efficiency is essential for several reasons, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Saving energy because you care about the planet is more important than saving money. Start by doing your part; reduce energy waste, contributing to our global overexploitation problem.
The lights should be turned off when they are not being used. Although it’s easy to think of electricity as a “clean” energy source, the reality is that coal is burned in power plants to produce it. Therefore, relying on electricity means using a finite supply of energy.
Compact fluorescent lamps produce the same light as incandescent or tungsten bulbs, using less energy. They have a far longer lifespan than regular bulbs, which means fewer changes.
Although mercury is included in energy-efficient bulbs, it is much less than the amount of environmentally harmful toxic materials used to create a conventional light bulb. Compared to the 3g in a typical mercury thermometer, the 5mg in a regular energy-saving bulb is negligible.
Used energy-efficient light bulbs should be carefully wrapped in recyclable paper before being thrown away to prevent mercury leakage and subsequent contamination of groundwater. Some light bulbs come with their protective sleeves already installed.
Alternatively, you may use LED lights. It doesn’t give out much heat and doesn’t have any mercury in it. However, it is not yet ready for general usage because of its high price and possibly unsatisfactory light quality for some users and applications.
Carefully selecting candles can help you save money on your electric bill. Paraffin (derived from petroleum, a nonrenewable energy source) is the main ingredient in most candles. Candles that are not petroleum-based are considered more environmentally friendly, but occasionally the promises on the box are false, so do your research. They put off a lot of heat, posing a fire hazard, and the toxins emitted by the melting wax and burning wick are unhealthy for our world.
Use only natural illumination sources, such as sunlight and the moon, whenever possible.
Air conditioners and fans
Having air conditioning as a backup plan is helpful on those days and nights when the heat is unbearable.
Some people, however, have become so acclimated to constantly blasting the air conditioner that their bodies have forgotten that on “normal-hot” days and nights, a ceiling fan or a standing fan can provide sufficient cooling.
Compared to running an air conditioner for the same time, a standard ceiling or floor fan uses far less energy. Use the fan instead of the air conditioner unless it’s an unbearable day of heat and humidity. Turn off the fan whenever no one is in the room, except when airing the room out due to a paint or bleach spill, a particularly sweaty workout, or using an insecticide.
When you turn on the air conditioner, set the thermostat as high as it goes. Your air conditioner uses less power when the temperature is raised.
Most of us live in relatively compact quarters, so even a modest amount of air conditioning can significantly impact us. Turn it to 25 or 26 degrees and let the room cool down instead of keeping it at 18 or 20 degrees, where your toes would be in danger of freezing. Especially in smaller bedrooms, I find it sufficient (unless I’m doing some particularly strenuous physical activity that causes me to sweat profusely).
Turning off the fans is an extra step you can take on those rare days when it is cool outside, strong breezes are blowing, and rain is falling. If the humidity makes you uncomfortable despite the cooler weather, you can always use an old-fashioned pair fan. Take advantage of the time warp while it lasts; before you know it, the rain will stop, the temperature will rise, and you’ll flip switches once more.
Discipline yourself to turn off electronics entirely rather than leave them on standby. Putting a device into standby mode involves turning off the appliance but leaving the power on at the wall outlet or adapter. If you leave the main wall switch on, the devices you turn on will continue to use electricity even if you turn off the lights. Seeing a digital display or re-light on your DVD player, heater, or TV after you’ve shut it off but not touched the main switch is clear evidence that the device still uses power.
Don’t waste electricity by keeping the TV on when you’re not watching something. If you must have some ambient noise but are concerned about your carbon footprint, try investing in a tiny radio or CD player instead of leaving the TV on for the same period.
– Unless you are dealing with a load of highly soiled laundry, utilize either the cold or 30-degree setting of your washing machine. More excellent heat demands more power. Pre-washes are also unneeded, save for filthy items and only wastewater. If you have only a few badly soiled things that need additional contact time with the water, soak them in a basin or pail before putting them into the washing machine and the rest of the clothing. This uses significantly less water – and no electricity – compared with a pre-wash option for the complete laundry load.
– Wherever possible, repair appliances instead of replacing them for a twin purpose: it prevents unneeded demand for new products created using non-renewable energy resources. It contains more non-recycled materials from ending up in landfills and incinerators to contaminate the earth.
– If you cannot fix and must replace an appliance, try to recycle the old item. Also, consider getting a second-hand, refurbished device instead of a brand-new one.
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