Cutting back on expenses is a big priority in today’s economy. When you combine the cost of utilities with the carbon footprint left behind by our daily functions, you have a pretty good motivation to try to cut back on energy consumption. Many people carpool to save money and reduce emissions. Others drive a small car, even electing to bike or walk rather than burn petroleum products. The rise in popularity of “pocket cars” and duel fuel vehicles are attempts to reduce emissions and save money at the same time. Power plants are often strained beyond their capabilities by the demands placed upon them, and aging infrastructures compound the problem. There are some simple things you, as a home owner, can do to save energy and money in your home. Here are some suggestions for running a more efficient home, and saving money at the same time.
Clothes washers are much more efficient today than ever before. High efficiency washers use less water to clean clothes. In the past, front loading washers were the only ones that were high efficiency. Today, however, top loading washers can be high efficiency, too. If you have an older model washer, consider upgrading to a new one. It will be more energy efficient, and save on electricity and water.
Clothes Dryers and Drying Racks
Clothes dryers now have sensors in them to help detect the moisture levels in each load of laundry. While these modern conveniences make life much easier, you can save a lot of money and cut down on energy use by using drying racks. Innovations in design make drying racks attractive, easy to use, and perhaps most importantly, out of the way. They can be designed to fold out of the wall, folding back into the cabinet when not in use. They can also be suspended from the ceiling, or simply folded away and stored in that otherwise useless gap beside the dryer. Drying racks also make your clothes last longer and help to preserve the shape of more delicate fabrics.
Many people have switched from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs. This is because fluorescent bulbs use less energy to produce light, and they last longer. However, there are some concerns about fluorescents. In cold weather, the bulbs are very dim. There is also a delay when you switch them on. Perhaps the worst aspect of the bulbs is that each one has a minuscule amount of mercury in it. This must be recycled to avoid contaminating the soil. LED lights are an excellent way to solve these problems. They are bright lights, unaffected by temperature, and they last as long as fluorescents. While both LED and fluorescents are more expensive than incandescent, the LEDs more than make up for the difference in longevity. And, they have no mercury in them.
Small changes like the ones mentioned here can make a big difference in your utility bill. Simply using drying racks rather than a clothes dryer can be your first step to lower bills.