Energy Saving Ideas

Tips for Saving Energy

We all want to save on our power bill. One way, of course, is to use wind and solar power to supplement what we use from the power company. We would be happy to discuss alternative energy options with you. By reducing your power consumption it will be easier for you to meet a goal of living off grid. If your electricity is tied in to the power company these tips can help you to reduce your bill.

Section 1

  • When using the air conditioning, close the blinds and curtains to keep the sun from heating up the house.
  • When the weather is nice enough turn off the fans and air conditioner and open the windows.
  • If you live in an area with low humidity use an evaporative cooler instead of air conditioning. An evaporative cooler uses less electricity. There are even 12 and 24 volt evaporative coolers available for off grid homes.
  • Use duel paned windows to keep the warm air in during the winter and cool air in during summer.
  • Keep drafts out of the house. Check the weather stripping around doors and replace if there are gaps. Use some type of draft protection at the base of the door. You can even use a rolled up towel or blanket and place right in front of the door.
  • Seal up leaks around the windows.
  • Add insulation to the house to reduce the power needed to heat and cool your home.
  • During the winter, after you are done cooking, leave the oven open to allow the warm air to help heat the kitchen. Only do this with the oven off, after you are done cooking.

Section 2

  • When replacing your appliances look for those with low amperage ratings. For example, a refrigerator can use anywhere from 1.5 amps to 12 amps. When you translate that to watts used that would be from 165 watts to 1320 watts.
  • Keep the refrigerator door closed. When you need something from the refrigerator make a mental check list and take all items out at the same time. This reduces the amount of cool air that escapes and keeps it from running as much.
  • Check your refrigerator to make sure that the door seal is tight. Put a piece of thin paper or a dollar bill in the door and close. If you can easily pull the paper out the door may need to be adjusted or the seal replaced. A tightly sealed refrigerator door will help to keep it from running as often to keep the food cold.
  • Use the crock pot, hot plate or toaster oven instead of the oven for smaller meals.
  • Use a deep freeze instead of an upright freezer.
  • When boiling water, use a covered pot. The water will heat faster.
  • Use the microwave to reheat foods instead of using the stove or oven
  • When using the dishwasher, let the dishes air dry instead of using the heat dry setting.
  • Whenever possible reduce or eliminate preheating the oven.
  • Run the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer with full loads. If possible hang laundry out to dry, or dry it until slightly damp and hang up to finish drying. Do not over dry your clothes.
  • Use a power strip for items that stay on when not in use. Items such as DVD players, VCRs, televisions, game systems, etc will pull power even when they are not turned on. Either unplug them or use a power strip, turning off the power strip when the items are not in use.
  • Turn the lights off when you are not in the room and replace the light bulbs with low wattage compact florescent bulbs.
  • Turn off the computer and printer when you are not using them.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer between each load. This will improve air circulation and allow the cloths to dry faster.
  • Use cold water when possible to help keep the hot water heater from running unnecessarily. Many times we turn on the hot water out of habit when we do not even leave the water on long enough for the hot water to reach the faucet. This can cause the hot water heater to turn on, when we didn’t even use the hot water.
  • Use a hot water heater jacket to keep the water heater from having to run as often.
  • Combine your errands to one trip to save on fuel.
  • If it is possible walk or ride your bike.
  • Reduce the time that you run your car to “warm it up” in the winter time.
  • Take a neighbor with you when you go shopping or run errands so that you are only using one car instead of two.
  • When traveling, pack meals to take with you instead of stopping for meals.
  • Buy your snacks at a grocery store instead of the gas station/convenience store.
  • Never grocery shop when hungry. Shopping when not hungry and not stressed will reduce most of your impulse buys.


Section 3

  • Write out a grocery list and make a goal to still to the list. You can reward yourself once a month with the money that you have saved by sticking to your list.
  • Stock up when something that you use often is on sale.
  • Check the store advertisements for the best price on your groceries. Then check to see if your store will ad match. Many grocery stores will match their competitors prices, allowing to get the sale prices from all stores while driving to only one store.
  • Buy clothing at the end of the season when it is on clearance.
  • Print double sided pages to save on paper when printing with your home computer.
  • Go to the high school games, concerts and plays for inexpensive entertainment.
  • Take classes to teach you how to do repairs yourself. Community colleges will usually have classes to teach home repair.
  • Trade services and unneeded items with friends and neighbors. What you no longer need may be exactly what they need.

Call us with any questions that you may have about saving electricity and producing your own power. We would also appreciate it if you could pass along any tips that you have so that we can share them with others. We have classes available to teach you how to build your own wind generators and to install and maintain your home power system. We will also guide you through your journey to becoming more energy independent.