Save Energy By Changing a Few Habits in the Home

Save Energy By Changing a Few Habits in the Home
The average American household spends more than $1,300 a year on electricity. Want to knock that down? You can! The editors of Fresh Home magazine have identified some uncommon ways to save power. A sampling:

Use the bathroom fan as little as possible. A strong ceiling fan not only sucks out shower steam, but the warmth (or coolness) in the bathroom and nearby rooms.

Keep outdoor air-conditioning units out of the sun. Direct sunlight causes them to use 10 percent more electricity. Surround with tall shrubs, shade trees or high screens.

Buy an electric water kettle. They're the most efficient way by far to bring water to a boil. Use it to preheat water for stovetop uses, such as making soup or pasta.

Have just one refrigerator. End the long-running family tradition of having a second unit in the garage.

Pack your freezer tight. It's far more efficient to keep food frozen than to keep air at a freezing temperature.

Sort laundry by fabric, not color. A dryer will keep going until every last piece is dry; when you dry similar fabrics, everything becomes dry at the same time.

Wash lightly soiled everyday clothes in a cold-cold cycle. Today's soaps work fine in cooler water.

Switch to solar lights outdoors. The new breed of solar-powered pathway lights are reliable and attractive.

* - From Neil Wertheimer, Fresh Home