- Wash laundry in cold water. If you wash your clothes in cold water you might be surprised to learn that you’re in the minority. Around 60% of Americans wash their clothes with warm water! Using cold water saves energy and most laundry items wash up just as well. Roughly 75% of the energy required to do a load of laundry goes into heating the water. In addition, most materials fare better in colder temperatures, as well as hold their shape and colors longer.
- Air dry dishes. Simply load dishes into the dishwasher before bed, turn off the heated dry cycle, and allow the dishes to air-dry instead. This small step can really add up in terms of energy savings, and most dishes will be dry by morning without the extra heat.
- Switch out your bulbs to compact florescent. According to energystar.gov, compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) use about 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Unplug items when not in use. Those electronics are still sipping energy even when they are not in use. TXU Energy calls out the stealthiest top offenders of this phantom energy: coffee makers, DVD/Blu-ray players, & computers.
- Use your fireplace. Lighting a fire in the fireplace doesn’t just create a cozy holiday ambiance; it also makes a great alternative heat source that may help save energy. Be sure to check before you light a fire though. Winter “Spare the Air” season runs from November 1st – February 28th. Visit sparetheair.org for more information regarding your local no-burn dates.
Sources: smithsonianmag.com, sparetheair.org, ahs.com, txuenergy.com