If you have a small lawn, consider getting a manual push mower. It doesn't use any energy except your own and it's great exercise! Disclaimer: Not liable for heatstroke, sunstroke, sunburn, or sunspots. May cause irritability, sleeplessness, or blisters after prolonged use. Your mileage may vary.
If you have enough laundry, once you have separated your colors, separate your heavy-weight clothes from your light-weight clothes. You can save considerable energy by drying these loads separately. (The light-weight load will finish much faster.)
Shut that refrigerator door! Each time you open the refrigerator, up to 1/4 of the cold air inside can leak out.
Once a year, drain a bucket of water out of the hot water heater tank to remove any collected sediment, which can keep the the water in the tank from getting as hot as it should.
Hypermilers are obsessives who discovered that by modifying how they drive, they could consistently exceed the EPA's estimated fuel efficiency on their cars. Using techniques that date back to fuel rationing during World War II, hypermilers do a variety of simple, basic things such as:
- Keeping their tire pressure high at all times.
- Performing proper, scheduled maintenance.
- Reducing the amount weight carried in the car, including passengers and baggage.
- Keeping within an optimal range of speeds, usually between 35 and 55 MPH.
- Accelerating and decelerating slowly and smoothly.
- Coasting down hills.
Just paid the April utility bill, which was one of the best ones in a long time, just $178. What's changed, you ask?
Heating & CoolingWell, to start with, this April was more temperate than last April, with 135 heating degree days (HDD) this year compared to 172 HDD last year. That means we ran the furnace less than we did last year. At the same time, it was also cooler than last April with 31 cooling degree days (CDD) compared to 38 last year. However, since we never run the A/C in April, this had no real effect on our electricity usage.
Hot WaterOur water usage overall is the lowest it has ever been while the family was actually home. Additionally, we are washing clothes in cold water instead of the usual warm water, so I think our natural gas bill may have gone down just a little bit because of that. Since hot water represents only a fraction of our natural gas usage, this has only a tiny effect on our utility bill.
ElectricityOur electricity usage is the lowest is has ever been while the family was actually home. We may actually be using our computers a little bit more. On the one hand, I added a password to my youngest daughter's account so that she can only use the computer with my permission. (She was spending more time on MySpace than on her homework.) On the other hand, I set up a new computer as a music server in the family room so that everyone can share their music. (Now there is just the one iTunes repository for me to back up.) Maybe it was a wash. While we are awake, there is generally at least one computer running.
AppliancesI think I've finally convinced my wife to use the moisture-sensing settings on the dryer as well, so this probably contributed to our lower electricity bill.
April 2008 Data
|Electricity, in kWh||Cost / Unit||Gas, in Therms||Cost / Unit||Water, in CCF||Cost / Unit|
Did you know that the average American home spends about $2,000 on energy costs every year? When the time comes, replace old, inefficient appliances with new Energy Star appliances — you can save as much as $100 per year, every year, on your utility bills.
It's almost summer, so it's time once again to change your car's motor oil!
Do yourself a favor and get the expensive synthetic oil. It lasts longer and does wonderful things for your engine.
If you want to make enemies, try to change something.- Woodrow Wilson