General Power Saving Tips

usedteabag

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Hi guys,

Wow, feels like a while since I've been on here! Oh dear me...

This country mouse has to move to the city in just a few months time! I've only ever rented, never owned my own home, and whenever I've rented, I've always snatched up the deals where everything is included in the rent so I don't have to stress about too many bills; it's only ever been paying for internet/phone! Lucky duck. But this time, I found a place that's cheap in the rent but I pay everything, including electric. I have never done this so I'm pretty scared of being overwhelmed suddenly!

Here's the deal: it's a two level, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and several common spaces. There's a deck and backyard, and a deep freeze (which, being an avid food freezer, I'm really excited about). I'm worried about a few things: the deep freeze, the fridge, and some other appliances like my crock pot and dehydrator. We are on oil heat, not electric.

I'm already pretty good about turning off excess lights, and all four of us living together are quite content to wear a sweater inside in the wintertime, too (I'm on wood stove heat here anyway, which can occasionally get inconsistent, so I'm used to it!). But any tips anyone has, I'd be so grateful! For example, is it true that simply unplugging appliances when not in use (like the toaster or microwave, for example) will save on electricity? Do table lamps use less energy than overheads? Anything you guys know--and I know you know a lot!--will be helpful. :rolleyes:
 

Denim Deb

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How are the 2 levels split up? We have a bi level and have found if we have ceiling fans going during the summer, this will circulate the air quite well and we don't use the AC as much.

Keep the freezer as full as possible. If you don't have enough food to keep it full, put jugs of water in there and let them freeze. This will also help keep items cold in the event of a power outage.

Try to use major appliances only during off peak hours, like early morning, late evening. Don't use the dryer unless you have to. Either hang clothes outside on a line, or in the basement.

Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. I give them a rinse B4 I put them in in just a couple of inches of water and use the light cycle. Don't use the dry cycle, but when it's done washing and rinsing, open the door.

If you have a garbage disposal, don't use it.

Unplugging appliances that aren't being used, but still use electricity when unplugged can save money. The only problem w/this can be do you need to reset anything on them when you plug them back in.

For lights, it depends on how many watts the bulb is as to how much energy it uses. The main thing you want to consider w/that is how much light do you need? Do table lamps give enough light or will you get more light from from a ceiling light? Would a combination of both work better? For instance, in the living room, we have a ceiling light only, but it points in different directions, and we use low wattage bulbs. In the bedroom, I have a single ceiling light, then a table lamp next to the bed so I have light if I'm reading in bed.

Hope this helps!
 

moolie

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Great tips Deb :)

Additionally...

FWIW, the "EngerGuide" sticker on my freezer says it only uses $29 worth of electricity per YEAR. As Deb says, it will function more efficiently if you keep it full or mostly full.

Your fridge is one of the biggest power users in a home, recommendations suggest keeping it mostly full as well, but with air circulation space around items--because the cooling unit is at the back and it opens at the front, letting cold air spill out. If the cold air from the back can't circulate, the items at the front will be warmer and spoil quicker. And items at the back can freeze--if you've ever had this happen, it's not the temperature setting, it's the lack of circulation space.

-Anything that plugs in that has a transformer on the plug/cord (the big black box part) draws electricity even when it's off.

-Same with any appliance that has a built-in clock.

-Same goes for tvs, they are always "on standby" rather than completely off unless you have a power saver model (our new tv is like this, it takes FOREVER to turn on just like when you buy a new one or after the power has been off for a while).

Unplug whatever you can, and you'll notice a drop in "phantom" electricity use. :)

Ceiling fans work really well, we don't have any so I don't know the power savings but I do know that they do a great job both cooling in the summer and moving heat down from the ceiling to where the people are in the winter.

Hope that helps!
 

luvinlife offthegrid

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Great tips so far. :)

I don't know what kind of light bulbs you're using, but incandescents will use a lot, so will halogen.

Plug in the tv and DVD player/whatever else you have for entertainment into a power strip with a switch, it makes it easier to shut everything off. Any appliances that create heat with electricity will suck power like water. So will AC/refrigeration.

What about the cook stove? Is that electric? If so, cook on the wood stove when it's running. I don't know how much you want to scrimp with the power, but you can also turn off your coffee pot when the coffee is done brewing, and transfer it to one of those insulated carafes. We saved nearly a hundred kwh a year by disconnecting the ice maker in our fridge. You may be be able to turn yours off when you have about half the capacity (who needs that much ice, anyway?) and turn it back on for a while when you need to refill. If the clothes dryer is electric, you can hang stuff out more. Use cold water in the washing machine, the dishwasher can be set to "air dry". If you get a cheaper rate during "off" hours, some dishwashers can be set to run on a timer, and you can run t at night.

Good luck.
 

lesliemorris85

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try to use LED-based lighting for all your lights. I know its kinda expensive but the initial cost will pay for itself in the long run since LEDs are incredibly durable. They are also very energy efficient so you wont be using as much power for your lights.
 

Emerald

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lesliemorris85 said:
try to use LED-based lighting for all your lights. I know its kinda expensive but the initial cost will pay for itself in the long run since LEDs are incredibly durable. They are also very energy efficient so you wont be using as much power for your lights.
we have steep stairs and long hallway upstairs and put in a small led light right at the top and one in our bathroom that almost never get shut of and they don't seem to suck any power. it isn't that bright in the daytime (I have to get a flash light to go thru the linen cubby in the hall) but at night it is bright enuf to make it so that you can see the stairs and hall but not so bright that it wakes you if the cat decides to open your bedroom door.. the light in the bathroom is smaller and in that small area it is perfect.. no bright lights for the middle of the night tinkle walk.
We have also been buying the cheap $5 to $7 LED from walmart and putting them in our ceiling fan lamps which are three and four bulb fixtures and it does take a bit of getting used to but after a while they are fine(we got the warm tone ones as we did not care for the cool blue lights) but so far I can not find anything I like for my reading lamp other than old fashioned three way bulb.
Oh and even the new CFL we put out on the deck lights take a long time to warm up to full bright in super cold weather.

my son and I turn off the lights when we enter and then leave a room even if we are going to only be gone a few minutes(well unless I'm cooking then that light stays on cuz I am just coming and going too much) Hubby comes home for the weekend and we are both running around turning stuff off behind him. he is bad about having to have the lights on in the whole house.
Too bad for your new place you couldn't find out how much the prior bills were from who ever was there before..
 

Hinotori

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We got some new LED bulbs at the beginning of January. I can't actually tell them from incandescent bulbs. They were expensive bulbs, but there were instant rebates from the power company and state at that time so we paid 7 or 9 bucks for each. The tulip shaped ones throw the light very well from the overhead fixture. They are warm spectrum. Got to have that or they don't look right.
 

~gd

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Denim Deb said:
How are the 2 levels split up? We have a bi level and have found if we have ceiling fans going during the summer, this will circulate the air quite well and we don't use the AC as much.

Keep the freezer as full as possible. If you don't have enough food to keep it full, put jugs of water in there and let them freeze. This will also help keep items cold in the event of a power outage.This is a good tip for a power outage but it does not save power. It takes a lot of power to freeze those jugs of water.~gd

Try to use major appliances only during off peak hours, like early morning, late evening.Again this does not save power, it will save you money only if you have different rates for peak and off peak times [most places haven't gone that far yet]~gd Don't use the dryer unless you have to. Either hang clothes outside on a line, or in the basement.

Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. I give them a rinse B4 I put them in in just a couple of inches of water and use the light cycle. Don't use the dry cycle, but when it's done washing and rinsing, open the door.

If you have a garbage disposal, don't use it.

Unplugging appliances that aren't being used, but still use electricity when unplugged can save money. The only problem w/this can be do you need to reset anything on them when you plug them back in. This line was just a slip of the pen no appliance uses power when it is unplugged. ~gdFor lights, it depends on how many watts the bulb is as to how much energy it uses. The main thing you want to consider w/that is how much light do you need? Do table lamps give enough light or will you get more light from from a ceiling light? Would a combination of both work better? For instance, in the living room, we have a ceiling light only, but it points in different directions, and we use low wattage bulbs. In the bedroom, I have a single ceiling light, then a table lamp next to the bed so I have light if I'm reading in bed.

Hope this helps!
 

Denim Deb

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Forget it, it's not even worth it.
 

danielburns271

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Today, in our land in Philippines we are conserving Power, we are experiencing power outage, so we have to save power by using CFL's and avoid using un-use appliances. any advice for me?
 
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