Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thrifty Thursday from Real Simple

Last month I got this email from Real Simple that would be perfect for Thrifty Thursday. Here's their 15 Easy Energy Savers.

- Line-dry clothes whenever possible. An average household does seven loads of laundry a week; a dryer load costs about 34 cents in energy. So, according to these figures from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), if you line-dry all your laundry, you could save $10 or so a month, depending on where you live.

- Unplug items like TVs and chargers for cell phones and PDAs (which draw small amounts of energy 24-7) when you’re not using them. Studies by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show that standby power accounts for 5 to 10 percent of home energy use, so unplugging can cut that amount from your bill. (Consolidate several standby plugs on a power strip.) - I started doing this with my cell phone charger, lap top, and guest room electronics (fan/light). I hope it makes a difference.

Air Vents - Moving furniture and drapes away from vents may amount to only $20 or so in annual savings, says Charlie Szoradi, founder of, a home-efficiency consultancy in Philadelphia. “But improving airflow,” he adds, “makes incremental improvements to the whole heating and cooling system.”

Computer - Set yours to enter sleep mode after 30 to 60 minutes of inactivity and your monitor after 10 to 20 minutes, suggests Bruce Nordman of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Most computers less than five years old use about 95 percent less power in sleep mode than when they are on, he says. Should you shut down at night? The savings versus using sleep mode is minuscule, says Nordman.

Water Heater - Lowering the setting from the usual 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 (the minimum to guard against bacterial growth) is sufficient and safer, as 140 can scald. And for every 10 degrees the temperature is lowered, you save 3 to 5 percent in energy costs, says Lynn Clement of Focus on Energy, a Wisconsin efficiency program.


HeidiG said...

hehehe, love the laundry one, as I am in the middle of 7 loads right now. :)

thanks for posting!

and I see you are reading Up for Renewal - I loved it - very fun read, but also very enlightening.

Andee Layne said...

great tips! I am going to start setting my computer to sleep mode!


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