Design Dilemma: 10 Simple Ways to Save Energy | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: 10 Simple Ways to Save Energy

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When it comes to saving energy at home, a lot of us think we need to undertake major renovations or completely replace inefficient appliances to really make a difference. Costly measures like buying new windows or new energy-efficient refrigerators come to mind.

Actually, though, there are a number of very small steps you can take to help reduce your energy and water use while helping you save money, too. None of these steps require that you buy a new appliance or invest thousands in home renovations.

  1. Change Your Lightbulbs. Low wattage compact fluorescent bulbs offer big savings over old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. While they initially cost more than incandescents, the big savings come over time. They use about 1/4 of the energy of incandescents and last 8 to 12 times longer. And the good news is that the latest models of CFLs offer warmer light than the originals.
  2. Caulk Your Windows. Yes, replacing old windows is a great way to significantly reduce your energy usage, but if you can’t afford to take this major step right now, simply re-caulk your old windows for added insulation and improved efficiency.
  3. Hang Curtains. In particular, we’re talking about blackout and thermal curtains which can help insulate your house in winter and cool it in the summer. They also provide sound and light insulation.
  4. Make a Toilet Water Dam.  Can’t afford to replace your toilet with a low water use toilet? Never mind. Turn your toilet into a low-flow toilet by making your own water displacer. Simply take a plastic bottle 600 mls – 1 liter, fill with water and place inside of the tank. This will reduce your water use per flush.
  5. Clear Dust from your Refrigerator. You can get your fridge’s motor to perform more efficiently simply by clearing the refrigerator fan of dust.
  6. Turn your refrigerator down. Refrigerators account for about 20% of household electricity use. Use a thermometer to set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible. Make sure that its energy saver switch is turned on. Also, check the gaskets around your refrigerator/freezer doors to make sure they are clean and sealed tightly.
  7. Invest in low-flow shower heads. For the price of $20 or less, you’ll cut your water use and carbon footprint without giving up an invigorating shower.
  8. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket. A jacket costs only between $10 to $20 but can help your water heater to work more efficiently, saving hundreds in electricity or gas bills each year.
  9. Reset your dishwasher. Allow your dishes to air dry by turning off the drying cycle manually on your dishwasher. Not using the drying cycle can save 20 percent on your dishwasher’s total energy use. Always use the energy-saving setting.
  10. Wash your clothes in cold water. Cold water and soap will effectively clean your clothes. Even simply setting your clothes washer on a “warm” setting instead of “hot will save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year if you have an electric water heater, or 150 pounds for a gas heater.

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