Energy Hogs in the Home and How to Tame Them

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If you want to save energy in your home, it pays to focus on the biggest energy users – the energy hogs. What are those energy hogs? In order, here are the most voracious porkers that are driving up your electricity bill:

  • Air Conditioner (AC):  Far and away the biggest energy drain you have.
  • Refrigerator:  This is the second biggest energy hog in your home, largely because it runs 24/7.
  • Washer and Dryer:  These two appliances have a larger impact than the dishwasher.

By focusing on how to use these appliances more efficiently, you can cut your electric bill significantly.  Here’s how.

1. Set your thermostat wisely, according to the season and when you are actually at home. By maintaining the temperature in your home a few degrees warmer in the summer months, you will save  a surprising amount. Keep the thermostat around 80 degrees F if you are at work or will be away from home for an extended period (e.g. vacation). Even better, consider investing in a programmable thermostat that will make the adjustments for you automatically.

2. Raise the temperature setting in your refrigerator by 1-2 degrees.  Your fridge will have to work less hard to maintain that temperature. If you are replacing an older refrigerator, always  buy an Energy Star rated new one.

3. Wash clothes in warm or cold water with a detergent designed to clean well at the lower temperature. Heating the water for washing consumes most of the energy. Most detergent makers have reformulated their products to clean at water temperatures of 30 degrees centigrade (86 degrees Fahrenheit), often with the addition of enzymes to improve the cleaning efficiency at the lower water temperature.

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June 2010
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