Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Conserve Energy Without Sacrificing Comfort

With the rising cost of fuel affecting our country, the new buzz word in town is conservation. Energy conservation is good thing which not only saves you money, but is also good for the planet. There are many ways in which we can all do our part in conserving energy, but it does not mean sacrificing comfort in order to save on costs. Listed here are some conservation tips which will help in saving energy. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and all are welcome to add ideas and suggestions to this list.

Save on gas by running multiple errands in one outing. It is better to go to one or two locations to complete your errands than to drive all over town to multiple destinations. Try to choose stores and malls that offer "one stop shopping."

Try carpooling. Carpooling allows you to share the cost of fuel, saves on overall gas,decreases overall wear and tear to your car, and cuts down on traffic.

If possible, try working at home instead of at the office. Many companies now allow employees to work out from their homes instead of the office. This saves on gas, transportation costs, and costs associated with going to work in an office such as clothing, lunch money, etc.

Update your vehicle to a hybrid or an alternate fuel car.

Work closer to home.

Turn off lights when you leave a room.

In the cooler months try opening your windows to let in fresh air and turn off the A/C.

In the colder months, only heat up the areas of your home that you use. For example, if you live in a four bedroom home, but you only use two bedrooms, close off the vents in the other two bedrooms. In smaller homes, a space heater in one or two rooms may be all that is needed.

In the warmer months, set your A/C thermostat higher when you leave the house, eg. 84 degrees. The house will be warm, but not too hot when you get home. The higher thermostat temperature will cause the A/C to not chip in too often while you are away. When you get home, you can lower the thermostat to the temperature you desire. If you turn the A/C totally off while you are away during the day, the house will get oppressively hot, and it may take a very long time for it to cool off when you turn the A/C back on in the evening. This will also cause the A/C to work extra hard.

Wait for a full load before you use your washer, or dryer, or dishwasher.

If you have a private backyard, you can try sun-drying of laundry. This costs nothing!

Hang up clothing immediately after doing laundry. This discourages wrinkles and cuts down on the need to iron clothing.

Turn off lawn sprinklers during rainy months.

Landscape your home with indigenous plants. These require less fertilizers/pesticides, and adapt more readily to changes in the climate.

These are just a few suggestions for conserving energy. I welcome any additonal suggestions.

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