If you’re an environmentally conscious homeowner or tenant and you’ve been researching ways to conserve electricity around the home, you’ve probably already encountered all the run-of-the-mill advice like turning off lights when exiting rooms, keeping track of appliance usage, and other obvious methods.
However, it’s highly unlikely that you’ve considered all of the smaller things we’re about to discuss below. While these recommendations may not save much money on the energy bill every month, a lot of small changes can add up to a big change in your carbon footprint over the course of a year or decade. With that said, here are five commonly overlooked ways to save electricity at home:
1. Use More Transparent Curtains to Let Light In
You hear a lot of people talking about letting natural light in by installing skylights or making other modifications to the home. Most people forget that a single change like switching to more transparent curtains can make a huge difference in a room’s lighting during the middle of the afternoon or at the peak of the morning sun.
2. Switch to Manual Window Openers
If you’ve been using automatic window openers to control the fold out windows in your home, consider switching to manual actuators instead. While these may be less convenient and more time-consuming, they also consume absolutely no electricity, which of course makes them a must-have in any home energy conservation effort. To see examples of manual window openers that can replace automatic counterparts, see some of the descriptions at tealproducts.com for reference.
3. Charge Your Smartphones and Tablets in Your Car Instead
Most people plug their phones and tablets into the wall at night not even thinking about how much electricity that could add up to over the course of the year with multiple devices to factor in. Try using a cheap USB car charger that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter attachment to charge your phone or tablet from the car battery at night. Then, as you drive to and from work the next day the alternator will recharge the battery to an optimal state.
4. Consider Light Configurations and Bulbs
This might sound like your cliché tip to switch to fluorescents and read bulb wattages, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We mean adjusting the positioning of lighting components and/or incorporating more energy-efficient lighting components into each room design. This may include using well placed lamps to create adequate lighting with minimum power usage.
5. Use Energy Saving Mode When Charging Your Laptop
Finally, this may fall under the general umbrella of monitoring the electricity consumption of household appliances, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook the power management options on their laptop. Use the power saver mode whenever possible, especially when charging. Preferably you’ll only want to use high performance mode when the laptop is unplugged or when the extra processing power is actually needed.
An observant energy conserver could theoretically come up with dozens of tips just like these, but for now this advice should be enough to get the wheels on your bus spinning.