About 100 years ago, when our great-grandparents were alive, there were no modern conveniences. Back then, homes were “winterized” before the cold weather, and “summarized” in preparation for the hot weather. During the winter, heavy draperies were hung on the windows, carpets were laid down on the floors, plush upholstery was uncovered on the furniture, and layers of warm wool linens were added to the bedding. And, hot food and warm beverages were available when you came in from the cold.
In the summer, windows were opened to take advantage of the breeze, lightweight curtains hung on the windows to catch that breeze, carpets were rolled up for storage and light cotton slipcovers applied to the furniture. Cooking was done in the ‘summer kitchen’, and sleeping was easier on a ‘sleeping porch’. And, cold drinks were served on the front porch where people socialized with their neighbors and caught up on the local gossip.
Those old-fashioned ways of coping with the extremes of weather were mostly ‘free’ and most of them are still practical in today’s modern world.
Practice one of the following no-cost energy-saving tips today, add one tomorrow, and so on… and so on… and so on. Soon you will be saving a substantial amount of money that you can spend on other things, like home improvements!
Everyday No-Cost Energy Saving Tips
- If you have an old refrigerator or freezer in the garage, get rid of it, it is costing you about $10 per month.
- Use the microwave instead of the oven. A microwave costs about $.03 per 10-minute use, an electric oven costs about $.28 per hour.
- Use your dishwasher only when it is full, and don’t use the drying cycle.
- Do your laundry efficiently, only when you have a full load. Line dry whenever possible, it costs nothing. An electric clothes dryer costs about $.42 per load. And, front-loading washing machines use 25% less energy than top-loading models.
- Turn off lights, appliances, electronic equipment, and fans whenever you leave the room for more than a few minutes.
- Take advantage of natural light and task lighting whenever possible.
- Arrange furniture away from exterior walls so that you are not eating or relaxing next to a hot or cold draft.
- Shut your fireplace damper when not in use, don’t let your conditioned air go up the chimney.
- Keep the refrigerator door closed whenever possible. A 22 c.f. refrigerator costs about $.70 per day while a 16 c.f. refrigerator costs about $.45 per day to operate.
- Take short showers and wash clothing in cold water whenever possible. A 52-gallon, quick recovery water heater costs about $2.00 per day to operate, the less hot water you use, the smaller the cost.
Hot Weather No-Cost Energy Saving Tips
- Keep the cool early morning air inside your home by shutting your house up. Close all of the doors and windows, and close the window coverings before the sun hits the windows.
- Use ceiling fans or portable fans in whatever room you are in. A ceiling fan only costs about $.02 per hour to operate.
- Turn your air conditioner thermostat up at least five degrees, more if you are not going to be home. For every degree you raise your thermostat, you’ll lower your cooling costs by 3%.
- Move outside, take advantage of the breezes and shade.
- Change the filters for your air conditioner.
- Serve cold meals and beverages; salads, sandwiches, antipasto, cheese, and fruit.
- Dress in lightweight, natural fabrics that hang away from the body.
- Decorate with cool colors; blues, greens, whites, and light neutrals.
Cold Weather No-Cost Energy Saving Tips
- Dress in warm layers of clothing.
- Add warm layers of linen to your bed, an electric blanket costs only about $.12 per night to operate.
- Eat warm comfort food and drink hot beverages. A coffee maker only costs about $.04 per use.
- Take advantage of the sun’s heat, leave your blinds and draperies open on the southern and eastern sides of your home, close these window coverings when the sun goes down.
- Turn your thermostat down at least five degrees, and when you are gone from your home or at night turn your thermostat down even more. A central heat pump for an average-size home costs about $.65 per hour to operate.
- Decorate with warm colors; golds, reds, oranges, browns, and darker neutrals. Add warm and fuzzy accessories to your living areas; soft pillows, warm throws, or afghans.
Today, we have a few modern conveniences that our great-grandparents didn’t have, so we use lots more energy. If you incorporate these no-cost energy-saving tips into your lifestyle, you will save money, reduce your energy consumption and enrich your lifestyle.