Want to cut energy costs while helping the environment? Easy! Here are our favorite tips.
Unplug Your Devices
Real Simple magazine suggests unplugging DVD players and TVs when not in use. Or plug them all into a power strip you can switch off. Sixty to 80 percent of the electricity they use is consumed while these devices are idle, powering light displays and “instant on” features. Also unplug or turn off your computer when it’s not in use. Or start using its power-saving sleep mode, which uses 60 to 80 percent less energy than full-power mode.
Replacing a top-loading washing machine with a front-loader generally uses 50 percent less energy and a third less water. With those savings, the new machine will pay for itself in six years and should last for ten, according to Real Simple.
Outside your home, Dominion Virginia Power suggests planting deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in the winter) to allow the sun through to warm your home. Conversely, in summer, their leaves shade your home. Plant shade trees to the south, since the south side gets the most sun. Evergreens are effective for blocking wind and should be planted in a staggered or double line to the northwest of your home.