The key to energy conservation is to make a habit of conservation. Electricity, heat and other fuel consuming appliances can be managed to reduce cost and use of those resources.
Here’s a brief list of some ways to conserve:
*Switch to LED lighting where ever possible. There are the screw in kind that’s just like regular light bulbs and they last longer than any regular or extended life type of standard or fluorescent bulbs. There’s 7 to 10 years of use with one LED light bulb. Use LED Christmas tree lights during the holidays instead of those large bulbs. LED-christmas-lights . LED computer screens. Keeping lights off in rooms not being used. LED nightlights can help keep that lights out.
*Use natural lighting as often as possible. This may mean not turning the lights on until it’s actually dark. In the winter, try visiting coffee shops, bookstores or malls during some of the early dark hours. Just spending an hour an evening somewhere other than home can save money on the electric bill if it means delaying when the lights are turned on. Switch to solar for some or all electrical needs. Set it up so that you can sell any excess to the local utility company.
*Refrigerator: Don’t let the door stay open too long. Get a cheap fridge thermometer and adjust the controls to fit the manufacturers recommendations for the right temperatures. Keep the fridge and freezer full so that there’s less space to be cooled. Clean dust from coils if possible so that it doesn’t have to work as hard to get the job done. Don’t locate the fridge next to the dishwasher or cooking stove. Switch to a propane fridge(s) because you’ll never have to replace it (Seville is the best brand).
*Don’t leave porch light on during the daytime unless you have to. Keep a good flash light on the key chain and/or get a headband with a light on it.
*Some small appliances draw a very small amount of electricity if they are plugged in. Even if the power button is in the off position. I use a power strip for some appliances which can switch them all off at the same time.
*Use double the amount of insulation in the ceiling/attic.
*Winterize the attic fan with plastic or a foam topper (unless you plan to use the attic fan in winter).
*Increase the width of exterior walls by applying wall treatments to either exterior or interior sides. The standard exterior wall is 4 inches with insulation in-between. Current trends in better home constructions are a 6-inch exterior wall. Wall treatments can include wood slats that fit together, Thick wall hangings, carpet, cork, tile, bricks and other items.
*Supplement a gas or propane heating system with a wood burning heat stove. Pellet stoves and the like are also useful. Wood is cheaper though.
*Use curtains in hallways leading to unused or lightly used rooms.
*Close off storage, unused or lightly used rooms in winter.
*Set thermostat on the lowest setting of about 50 to 60 degrees F in winter. Use throw quilts and wraps when sitting in front of the TV.
*Cook meat for more than one meal at the same time for fuel cook stoves.