Save some of that juice for me!

By
Real Estate Agent with Brand Name Real Estate

Energy bills are high these days.  And that's just the way things are.  This is an extremely cold winter for so many of us, and unfortunately our heating bills are higher than we're used to.

Most of the talk, even from me, about saving energy focuses on CFL lightbulbs, solar power, adding insulation, caulking around leaky doors and windows, and things like that.

But there are some other energy thieves, or energy vampires, that are usually undetected in our homes.  And all I have to say to them is "Save some of that juice for me!"

There are several smart little changes that can stop energy from being wasted.  Here are a few ideas to get you going.

Rearrange the fridge.  When you buy frozen foods in bulk, you're not only saving money, but you're also pull the plugsaving energy.  It takes less energy to keep stuff frozen than to keep the air below 32 degrees, so keep that freezer full.  If you're talking about the refrigerator, though, it's more energy efficient if there's room for air to circulate.  So make sure that you only buy what you would typically use between shopping trips. (This is a really hard tip for couponers to follow!)

Microwave more.  When you compare the energy usage of your microwave to your oven, it uses only 20% as much energy.  And you get to eat sooner!

Match pot to burner.  There really is a reason that stoves have different-sized burners!  You can cook more efficiently by matching the size of the pot and pan to the heat source.  And you should also use the smallest burner and the smallest pot whenever possible.

Use power strips.  TVs, computers, stereos, and even dishwashers all continue to draw energy even when they're not on.  If you plug all neighboring devices into a power strip, then you can cut the juice to all of them with the flip of a switch.  (Just be careful not to exceed the allowable number of devices. And never plug one power strip into another.)

Change your filter.  If your heating system has an air filter, make sure that you change it at least every 3 months.  If you have inside pets, then I would suggest changing it more often.  The dirtier the filter, the harder your system has to work to heat (or cool) your house.

Sync your ceiling fan.  Since hot air rises, a ceiling fan is only doing its job if it's pushing that air back down into the room.  This means the blades should be turning clockwise in winter.  (Reverse the motion in summer for a cooling effect.)  I'm especially guilty of not even having the fans on this time of year, but it really does help keep the hot air to where it benefits you and not your ceiling.

Unadapt.  Some of the biggest home energy-wasters are adapters for rechargeable phones, cameras, music players, power tools, etc.  When these adapters are plugged in, they draw power even if they're not recharging anything.  Just feel the plug and you'll see how hot it is with nothing being charged.

Drop a degree (or three).  For every one degree lower you set your thermostat, you'll save up to 5% in heating costs.  This is especially good if you're not going to be home for a set period of time.  Turn it down while you're away, and then put it back to a comfortable temperature when you return.  Or better yet, install a programmable thermostat, then set it and forget it.

Let the sun in.  Open the drapes or blinds on the sunny side of the house to take advantage of solar heating.  It's one of the few energy sources that's still free.  I've been doing this more this winter than I have in the past and it really warms up that room fast.

Leave 'em on.  Did you know that it actually wastes energy if you turn CFLs off and on?  As a general rule, leave them on if you'll be back in the room within 15 minutes.  Otherwise, flip the switch to fight another energy vampire.

 

*****************************************

We proudly serve and sell real estate in and around all of Charleston, SC.  If you are thinking about purchasing or selling your home in Charleston, Johns Island, James Island, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, North Charleston, Hanahan, Summerville, Goose Creek or other surrounding areas, and more importantly, want to work with a local area expert, contact us at your earliest convenience.

 

Jim and Maria Hart logo

Jim and Maria Hart
Realtors®/ AgentOwned Realty
(843) 364-9845
hart@agentowned.com

 

Copyright © 2010 by Jim and Maria Hart (AgentOwned Realty).

Posted by

 

Comments (34)

Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Rebecca: Show him this post and let him know that you are right!

Feb 05, 2010 02:41 PM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Joan: I grew up with that same principle drilled into my head.  It's a little difficult to think that leaving the lights on will cost me less than turning them off and then back on, but I'll get there :)

Feb 05, 2010 02:44 PM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Russel: You guys have been pretty fortunate this winter.  We've gotten a little closer to our normal temps, but the beginning of the year was brutal for us.  And thanks for the props for Lean Cuisine.  Good to know :)

Feb 05, 2010 02:48 PM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Debi: I had no idea, either, until just recently, so I'm glad to get the word out :)

Feb 05, 2010 02:49 PM
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

This is great info.  Thanks for the tips - I had no idea about the freezer.  I visited Charleston almost 2 years ago and I still dream about the great fried lobster and hush puppies I had at Hymans and about this great pasta I had at a restaurant near Isle of Palms - i think it was called Sullivan's.  I can't wait to come back for another visit.

Feb 06, 2010 07:24 AM
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

These are excellent tips...some I knew, but many I didn't!  I'm off to unplug all my adapters!

Feb 06, 2010 11:18 PM
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

By the way, I am reblogging this.  It really is a great collection of enrgy saving tips.

Feb 07, 2010 01:26 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Hey Jim and Maria,

These are some really good quick tips.

I'm going to re-blog!!

Feb 07, 2010 01:33 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Just stopped by to invite you to the ActiveRain Super Bowl Party. Stop by if you get a chance. Geaux Saints!

Feb 07, 2010 03:48 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Stacey-Ann: Hymans and Sullivan's are really great restaurants.  There are so many good seafood one here that it's really hard to pinpoint one or two that are my favs.  I hope that you get a chance in the near future to visit us again!  And thanks for the reblog :)

Feb 07, 2010 11:39 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Laura: In this day and age, I'm sure that unplugging your adapters kept you busy for awhile.

Feb 07, 2010 11:49 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Ralph: Thanks, and thanks for the reblog!

Feb 07, 2010 11:51 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Russel: Thanks for the invite.  You've got quite a party going on there!

Feb 07, 2010 11:53 AM
Monique Combs
Royal Shell Real Estate - Bonita Springs, FL
Royal Shell Real Estate - Monique Combs

Jim & Maria ~ Great Localism post. We all need to conserve as well as save a buck.

Feb 08, 2010 01:38 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

Monique: That's the truth!  Saving is something we can all benefit from.

Feb 08, 2010 08:49 AM
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Very helpful reminders and tips.  Thanks for sharing these Energy Saving ideas with your Friends on Fraiche Aire!

Feb 09, 2010 03:35 AM
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Thanks for the reminders.  I need to do better at unplugging all of the chargers after I take the devices out.

Feb 09, 2010 01:10 PM
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

We're lucky that we have pretty nice weather here most of the year, so we save a lot on heating and cooling by keeping the windows open and using the ceilnig fans.

Feb 18, 2010 01:52 PM
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Thanks for the tips Jim and Maria.l  It's time to change my furnace filters, and I had forgotten.

Feb 18, 2010 04:34 PM
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Hey Jim and Maria, what a good post, when everybody is trying to save money.  I couldn't remember about which way for the fan blades for winter, thanks for the reminder.

Feb 19, 2010 10:33 AM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?