Some of the most unappreciated measures to take in reducing our energy consumption hark back to old or traditional practices before we had modern technology. Or, simply, using common sense and enough logic will help bring down that electric bill. But the willingness to do so must come first.
Here are some:
• Do more outdoor grilling than other cooking choices. It may not be so good on your lungs or nose and the neighbours might complain; but it saves you a lot by sparing your oven or stove from high energy costs.
• Copper-bottomed pots and pans conduct heat more efficiently when cooking on the stove compared to other metals. Not only that, they also look rustic and nice compared to the shiny yet less efficient alternatives.
• Clean up your stove reflector pans to reflect more heat upward when cooking. Dirt and grime, especially oil smudges, reduce the efficiency of those pans.
• Turning off your oven or burners just before the food is cooked allows the remaining heat to finish the task for you. With practice, you will know just how soon you can turn them off.
• Tight-fitting covers on pots and pans reduce cooking time and help you save energy. As a general rule, then, buy only kitchen-ware that will enhance your ability to save.
• Use pots that match your stove burner size in order to avoid heat loss. Small pots on big burners are a waste, unless you have burners that can adjust to either a single, smaller flame or a double, bigger flame.
• Habitually turn off bedroom, kitchen and bath fans each time you leave the room. People used to leave air-conditioning on the whole day. Today, every small saving you can make means a lot in the long run.
• Dust your refrigerator each time you dust your house. Inspect the coils at the back of your unit and use coil vacuums or dusters for cleaning. This will make your unit run more efficiently.
• A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one. To maximize savings, fill your freezer with water containers. This should be an easy measure for all to do.
• Buy energy-efficient appliances. They help save money and also protect the environment because they utilize less energy. Browse the Internet and find out how they work and protect nature, then buy the most efficient and most economical ones.
• Replace your old refrigerator with one that has the yellow EnergyGuide® label, making sure you compare features. Select models with better insulation and have power-saving switches. Unlike PCs that may become obsolete after a year or two, the latest refrigerators can still be up-to-date and efficient for several years.
• Do several loads of your washing and drying during your laundry schedule. This keeps the dryer warm and ready for the next load and allows you to save so much on energy.
• Over-drying your clothes wastes energy and produces static and wrinkling. Like cooking food, turn off the dryer before the clothes are completely dry. Let evaporation do the rest, especially if you schedule your laundry in the middle of a warm day.
• Separate wash loads into heavy and light fabrics to shorten the drying period. And if you want to save more, dry your lightest fabrics in the air or under the sun.
• Provide an outside vent for your dryer to minimize the workload on your air conditioner. Keeping all that heat generated inside the house while running the aircon is like trying to fill up a leaking pail with water.
We wonder why many people discover only now how to use these simple tips which used to be common measures in the past. Is it because we take so many things for granted? We assume things work out well as long as they are new or still functioning. However, saving on energy requires a more discriminating understanding of how it is used and also how it is wasted. These tips should prove that point clearly.