Energy Efficient Electrical Ideas

Published: 28th January 2011
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As technology rapidly advances, our homes are filling with televisions, computers, lights, kitchen appliances and other items that increase our electricity bills a little more each month. However, there are many little steps you can take in your home to increase your energy efficiency, lower your bills and do right by Mother Earth.

1. Unplug everything! Even when appliances are off, you may notice a little LED light that blinks to indicate that they are in sleep or standby mode. These devices are called phantoms; they continue to consume energy even when not in use. To prevent this, unplug devices that you are not using. For an easy solution, plug these phantoms in to a power cord or outlet with an on and off switch. That way, you can reduce usage with just a flick of a switch.

2. Say goodbye to old light bulbs. Replace your old incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb. These energy-saving bulbs use half the amount of energy to produce the same amount of light as a traditional incandescent bulb. The compact fluorescent bulbs also require less maintenance, most only needing to be changed every four years. This reduces waste and CO2 emissions caused by the production of light bulbs. Though it will require an investment to change all of your light bulbs, they will pay for themselves in less than a year as they use up to 75% less electricity.

3. Add a fan. An electric fan will move air in a space and create a cooler atmosphere and reduce your air conditioner use. An electric fan can cool up room by up to 2C. If you still find your space too hot and need to use an air conditioner, check to make sure your filters are clean. Dirty filters block air movement through the unit, causing it to have to work harder to cool your space.

4. Incorporate window shading. Install new covers, awnings and additional screens to shelter you from the sun. There are also many windows and window coverings that are treated to block UV rays and keep your home cool.

5. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances. If your appliances are more than ten years old, now is the time to update. New appliances will be a big investment, but will be worthwhile in energy savings, effectiveness and increased property value. When purchasing new appliances, always look for the energy-star rating to know that it meets industry standards for energy efficiency. Shop for appliances that are the right sizes for your household to ensure you are not consuming extra energy for no reason; a family of two requires a smaller fridge than a family of five.

By paying attention to small details around your house, you can lessen your expenses and your carbon footprint. Keep in mind that every little bit helps and small steps can lead to big changes.

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