2. Cook Smart
- Convection ovens heat food much more efficiently than conventional ovens and therefore use approximately 20% less energy. It’s recommended that you use a convection oven whenever a conventional oven isn’t necessary.
- It’s likely an obvious fact, but your microwave uses a fraction of the energy that a conventional oven does. Whenever you’re heating up a frozen meal or leftovers, the energy conscious choice is to always use the microwave
- Whenever you do use your conventional oven, make sure to follow a couple simple rules to waste as little energy as possible. Always put your food on the top rack, where it is hotter and will cook faster. Also, make sure to open the oven door as little as possible, as it will let precious heat out and slow the cooking process.
- If you use the stovetop, make sure to place your pots and pans on appropriately sized heating elements. If the heating element is too large, the unused space will generate heat that only goes to waste.
3. Check the Fridge
Unsurprisingly, your refrigerator is a massive consumer of electricity, second only to your air conditioner. Nobody wants to get rid of their fridge though, so instead we will take some steps to make it’s operating as energy efficiently as possible:
4. A New Water Heater
5. Less Laundry is More Savings
- Always wash a full load. Breaking up your laundry into multiple smaller loads is much less water and energy efficient.
- Use warm water only when necessary. It requires substantially more energy and doesn’t clean much better than cold water.
- If possible, try to air dry your clothes by hanging them on a line or rack.
- If you do use a dryer, make sure to empty out the lint trap before every cycle. Excess lint makes the drying process longer and can even be a fire hazard.
6. Shower Smart
7. Be Cool, but not That Cool
- Try relying on your ceiling fan as much as possible and installing a fan in any rooms that don’t have one. Ceiling fans use very little energy compared to a central air conditioning system.
- Replace your air filter consistently and on time. Clogged and damaged air filters can reduce airflow and cause your A/C to work harder than it has to.
- Keep your thermostat at an appropriate temperature for the season. 76 to 78 degrees is recommended for spring and summer and a constant of 68 degree in fall and winter will keep your A/C running as efficiently as possible. You can turn the temperature up even higher when no one is home.
8. Go Outside... for a Minute
Check out your exterior A/C unit. Keeping it clear of mud and debris and out of direct sunlight will keep the unit cool and let air flow freely. All of this will allow the unit to run at maximum efficiency. Try planting some surrounding shrubs and bushes a few inches from the unit to keep it shaded.