Reducing Energy UsageOur last post discussed the appliances that consume the most electricity. From this post we can see which appliances use the most electricity and where we can plan on reducing our energy usage by focusing on the larger highest consuming appliances.

Turning the lights off and converting to fluorescent lights is an excellent way of reducing our energy usage. So running any appliance that has a motor, such as the air conditioner, the dryer and water pump less are also great ways of reducing energy usage.

We use energy in other ways as well that may not involve electricity. If you have a water heater that runs on natural gas, you are using energy. Heating your home with natural gas as well consumes a lot of energy as do pool heaters that are gas consumers.

Our cars and transportation are another area that most consumers use a lot of energy and the higher the price goes for gasoline, the more motivation there is to control how much energy we use.

Here are a few ways of reducing energy usage:

  • Unplug devices if they are not in use. All electronics consume energy even if they are turned off.
  • Set computers to sleep so they are not running and put lap tops on hibernation mode, however it is even better to unplug them
  • Turn down your temperature in the winter and up in the summer to reduce heating and air conditioning costs.
  • Use your appliances in off peak hours such as cooking, drying your clothes, setting your fridge temperature a little higher, wash full loads in the washing machine and the dishwasher, and keep them all in optimal operating condition.
  • Turn out the lights if no  one is in the room
  • Convert all lights to fluorescent or LED lights
  • Walk to work or take mass transit
  • Plan your trips in the car and avoid many short trips for single errands
  • Keep your vehicle well tuned and tires at the proper pressure
  • Turn down the thermostat when you go away on vacation in the winter
  • Turn up the thermostat in the summer when you are away
  • Use a programmable thermostat
  • Use flashlights that do not need batteries and avoid having to throw out used batteries
  • Winterize your home by sealing windows

While this may not be a complete list of reducing energy usage, these will cover the majority for many consumers. Depending on your lifestyle, there may be additional methods and approaches to reducing energy usage. Let us know by leaving comments and we will add them to our list. Our readers will appreciate it.

Additional Energy Usage Reduction Techniques

There are additional steps that can be considered to reduce energy usage which may require additional investment with various pay time frames. These approaches include:

  • Upgrade your furnace to a maximum efficiency furnace.
  • Upgrade your water heater to maximum efficiency
  • Ensure your windows are well sealed or replace them with better insulated windows
  • Upgrade your insulation in your attic
  • Arrange for a pressure test to identify all potential air leaks in your home
  • Install ceiling fans to move the air inside your home
  • Consider gas fireplace inserts to heat the most used room in your home

There are many more things that will cost increasing amounts of money to put into place. If you are building a new home there are an entire series of things to consider in terms of upgrades that can improve the efficiency of the home in terms if energy use.

There is a law of diminishing returns. The point at which the investment in energy reducing activity is going to cost more than the potential savings over some number of years. The number of years will be different for every home owner and the amount they are willing to spend. For the writer this number is around seven or eight years. In other words if I cannot recover my investment in that time, then I am not prepared to spend the money to upgrade.

This should be constantly reassessed since prices are constantly changing including the cost of energy as well as the cost of the solutions you may be considering. Reducing energy usage is an ongoing activity and should be constantly monitored.

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