Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ways To Conserve Energy?

I have been thinking a lot about conserving energy lately. It probably has something to do with the changing of the seasons. Usually, our area gets a temperature "reprieve" in September and part of October. It works out so that we don't need to use the air conditioning, furnace, or water the lawn for about five or six weeks, saving us money on our utilities. Now it's getting to be time to switch gears and start thinking about heating bills, again.

Two years ago, Dear Hubby and I saved our pennies and installed a new furnace and air conditioner. The original builder of our home was a total jingle bell, in my opinion. He/she put in top of the line carpet(which is the thorn in my behind 27 years later, because it's this horrendous blue color but still serviceable), and paid for professional decorating, but( as far as I can surmise) to save money they installed a furnace and air conditioning unit way to small for our square footage. We froze in the winter and sweltered in the summer, and still paid ridiculous gas and electric bills! The new furnace and air conditioner have helped immensely, but it still costs money to heat our square footage.

I have started a short list of ways to conserve energy and save on our utility bills. So far I have come up with:
  • Weather stripping. It's not something you think about until you see that crack of light shining between the outside door and the door jamb. It is amazing what a difference new weatherstripping makes around outside doors.
  • Insulate switch plates and electrical plates. You can buy these at Home Depot or Lowe's.
    Drafts can sneak in around switch and electrical plates located on outside walls.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed on days when the sun isn't shining. Of course, open them up on sunny days to let the sun help heat the house.
  • Throw an extra blanket on your bed, so that you can turn the heat way down at night.
  • Wear a sweater or layers during the day, so that the thermostat can be set at a lower temperature.
  • Bake on cold days. It helps warm up the house (and it smells great,too).
  • When you use your oven bake several items to eat through out the week, and bake several things at once. For example, bake your veggie, main dish, and a bread or potato in the oven at the same time (See picture at top of post, and disregard dirty's on my To Do List.....I promise!).
  • Run the washing machine and dishwasher during non peak hours. Usually, later at night.
  • Turn off lights in unused rooms. This should be a no brainer, but the troops have not grasped this concept at our house. I am the light Nazi, going through the house turning off lights and ranting to all that will listen!
So, what are some of the ways that YOU, all my wonderful bloggy friends, have found to conserve energy and save money?


  1. We turn off the hot water as we leave for the day. It only takes 5 minutes for it to heat up again for shower and dishes when we get home 9.5 hours latter.

    When it rains I put a bucket outside to collect water for the plants that are undercover and miss out.

    We turn everything off at the powerpoint on the wall (computers, tv, microwave, cd player, washing machine). This saves money on wasted energy from those little red lights but also protects us from loosing items to electrical storms.

  2. Chaos Girl - Great ideas! I really like the idea of unplugging unused electrical items!

  3. Ah, heating bills... so far I have delayed turning on my heat for the year but I know that day is coming... soon. Sigh. It seems like a freeze myself out all winter and I still pay more than I would like. Still, I shudder to think of what my gas bill would be if I didn't conserve my usage. I can't wait to see what tips your readers share.

  4. The one thing I have learned is to run the hot water in your kitchen sink before turning on the dishwasher. It extends the life of the dishwasher because it doesn't have to work so hard to heat the water. I always start the dishwasher when we go to bed for the night so it runs during off peak hours. And we change our HVAC filters frequently.

  5. Budget Confidential,
    I always dread opening the first heating bill of the season,too.

    Great idea! It is definitely cheaper to run the water for a few minutes than replace a dishwasher!

  6. Does baking multiple dishes together affect the quality/time/temperature?

    Great ideas!

    Ms. Oomph

  7. Ms. Oomph,
    I try to bake thing together that require similar times and temperatures. If you fill both racks with baked goods, it's a good idea to rotate the items halfway through baking,so that they bake evenly. I have never had a problem with things not turning out. If you put bread or cake into bake with other things,it needs to be on the most center rack for even baking.



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