We can cut back our energy use in ways that won't change our lifestyles. Here are some of the easiest ways to reduce power usage and, with a little effort, keep extra cash in our pockets as well:
Use only one refrigerator and consider buying a new model. About 15% of a typical American home's energy consumption is used just run this one appliance. So unplug that old fridge sitting in the hot garage in the summer. Also bear in mind that every fridge built before 1990 uses at least twice as much energy as a current model of the same size. When you buy a new refrigerator, select one that uses the least electricity, as indicated on the yellow EnergyGuide card posted on the unit. Azusa Light & Water is offering rebates on new energy efficient refrigerators. Call (626) 812-5225 to learn more.
Purchase Energy Star-certified appliances for maximum savings. To be Energy Star-certified, an appliance usually exceeds minimum efficiency standards by 13% to 20%. That's the government's way of ensuring that large household appliances are as efficient as possible. An Energy Star appliance might cost more, but the expense will be recovered quickly through lower electric bills.
Use devices that automate the energy-savings process.
Programmable thermostats can be set to automatically turn your air conditioning and heat down just after you leave for work and back up just before you return home. Automated switches will turn off a room's lighting when no motion is detected. And don't leave your computer on when it's idle. Instead, put it in "sleep" mode. A PC uses close to 100 watts when on but less than 33 when asleep.
Exchange the regular light bulbs you use most for low-wattage, light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
Switching only a few incandescent bulbs could cut up to 5% or more off your energy bill.
Weatherize your home. In the summer, close blinds and drapes to stop direct sunlight from entering a room. In the winter, open them to let the sun heat naturally. You also should install double-glazed windows, which have special gases between the two panes that regulate heat flow through the glass.
Does it matter which way your ceiling fans spin? Yes. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect making the rooms feel cooler than they actually are. In the summer, set the fan to feel the breeze. In the winter, reverse the rotation of your ceiling fan to lift cool air and move warm air across the ceiling and down the walls in the "living zone."