By Sundong Kwong, Sustainable San Ramon Green Homes Committee Chair and Founder of Green Remodel Forum
Want to reduce your energy use and save money? It is a lot easier than you think. Many people use a lot of energy because they are accustomed to leaving most of devices running 24/7 when energy was cheap. But times have changed. Energy is getting expensive. In addition, energy generation causes air pollution and fuel exploration can cause great damage to our environment.
If you look around your house, you notice much of energy is being wasted. Here are some easy-to-do steps that require no money and can be easily done by changing a few day-to-day habits:
- Turn televisions off when you are not watching or leaving the room.
- Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
- Put your computer to sleep when you are not using it. You can also set your computer to automatically go to sleep if you’ve left it idle for more than 15 minutes.
- Set your thermostat for 68 degree F in the winter and 78 degree F in the summer. You can save 3-5% for every degree sets higher in the winter and lower in the summer.
- Run your dishwasher only when it is full.
- Close the damper when the fireplace is not being used. Try to avoid using the fireplace and central heating system at the same time.
- Close the drapes at night to keep heat in, especially if you have single pane windows.
- In summer, turn the ceiling fan on to keep air moving. This will enable you to turn up your thermostats a few degrees in summer to save energy on cooling.
- In winter, set your ceiling fan settings to “low”, and set the fan to reverse to circulate the warm air.
- Remember to turn the ceiling fan off when you are not in the room.
You can find some more energy savings videos here.