Clean living: Saving your energy

September 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

No need to be all pessimistic and say summer is over, so I’ll put it this way; the season has changed. The furnace has kicked on and we find ourselves having to flip the lights on in order to eat breakfast.

Many of us by now have developed our own energy saving habits. I am already lamenting the fact my lovely outdoor clothesline will be out of service soon unless I am prepared to break ice off my clothes. (I am not.) Despite our need to watch the energy and electricity bills rise as the thermometer drops, there are small ways we can feel in control of the situation.

1) Make the best use of curtains and fans. Keeping the drapes open during the day allows for natural light to brighten rooms, and closing them as soon as it gets dark will keep more heat inside the house. Leaving extractor fans like the one in the bathroom or in the kitchen going full blast will empty the house of warm air. Turn those fans off once they have finished their job.

2) Beware of phantom electricity. In order to have all our electronics on call at all hours, we leave them plugged in. Our devices are still sucking energy when they are turned off. To lower the electricity bill, turn off the whole power bar at night and unplug the coffee machine. Before going away for the weekend or fly off on that winter holiday, unplug everything that does not need to be running.

3) Stay away from the stove. Smaller appliances such as steamers and the microwave use less energy than the big range. And speaking of ovens, it is wise to locate the refrigerator farther away from it. Your fridge will have to work harder to stay cool right next to the oven.

4) Invest is some snuggly robes. Parents especially should have these in their wardrobe anyway, since they make waking for nighttime feedings and early mornings a little warmer and easier. We all know keeping the thermostat down results in energy saving, but when outside is a frozen wasteland, we need a pretty good reason to be tempted to keep the thermostat steady. A toasty housecoat (or if you aspire to be like 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon, a “slanket”) keeps it cozy enough to make winter bearable. Just accept the fact that when it’s negative 40 with the wind chill, there is no such thing as winter fashion.

5) Do laundry in cold. The clotheslines may be out of commission, but the laundry certainly won’t be dropping off. Most of the energy used for laundry is from heating the water. Detergent can clean just as well in cold water these days, plus cold water is better for removing stains anyway.

Those are my tips, all of which are simple enough to put into motion without the help of a handyman or any major investments. If we can survive the cooler weather, so can our bank accounts.


Clean living, baby is a regular feature for Fort McMurray parents looking for ways to raise their families without breaking their bank, their health or their environment.





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