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February 27, 2014
Between saving money on electric bills and trying to do our part in being eco-friendly, it is very important to do what we can to decrease the amount of energy used in hour homes. We all know that leaving lights and various electronic devices on while they are not being used is a waste of electricity in the home.
We do our best at trying to shut off the lights and the television and unplug the coffee maker when they are not in use. However, there are appliances in the home that can also be wasting energy. We often do not think of these appliances as big energy wasters, but it may be time to consider the impact they have on how much energy we use each month and how we are using them.
1. Air Conditioner
A necessary appliance in many areas of the country, the air conditioner uses a lot of energy, especially during the warmer months of the year. Electric bills can double and even triple during these time periods. To ensure your air conditioner is not wasting energy there are several steps you can take. Have your air conditioning unit inspected and maintained professionally once per year. This will make sure that you are keeping the unit working at its best and making it more energy efficient. You should also close blinds during the warmer hours of the day and avoid letting direct sunlight into the house.
2. The Water Heater
Hot water tanks use a lot of energy in the home. You should ensure that you have the correct size of hot water heater for your home. Using one that is too big will waste a lot of energy. It is also important to make sure your hot water heater is insulated properly. Wrapping it with insulation or even simply a blanket will decrease wasted energy. Doing so can decrease heat loss from the hot water heater by around 20 percent.
3. The Furnace
Another large energy waster in the home is the furnace. This can be especially true if the filters and ducts are blocked or dirty. Having the ducts cleaned on a yearly basis and changing the filter at least once per month will make your furnace conserve more energy. Letting direct sunlight into the home in the colder months of the year will also decrease the amount of energy that the furnace needs to expend to keep your house warm.
4. The Clothes Dryer
The clothes dryer is another top user of energy when it comes to appliances in the home. Many of us leave our clothes in the dryer for much longer than necessary. You can also skip the dryer altogether and hang the clothes out to dry to reduce your home's energy consumption. Also, when you run the dryer, clean the lint filter after each use. This will make your dryer more efficient at drying the clothes and cause it to use less energy when it runs.
5. The Dishwasher
A much appreciated modern convenience, the dishwasher exists in many American homes. However, many are using more energy than they should be. To reduce this, use an economy setting on your dishwasher, if one exists. Instead of using the dry cycle of the dishwasher, open the door and let the dishes air dry on their own. You can also avoid using the hot water settings to decrease the amount of energy the dishwasher uses.
By taking some small, yet mindful steps, you can reduce the amount of energy used by the appliances in your home. Not only will this benefit the environment, but also your budget. In addition, next time you purchase a new appliance, look for energy efficient ones.