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Friday, August 8, 2014

Frugal Doings: Energy Hogs

In working on cutting our energy usage (both for saving money and for the environment), we’ve been looking at all the things in our home that are energy hogs.  I thought we might find a few… but oh my goodness… we – and you – are living in an energy draining piggery!  And it is time to cut out some pork.  


Some of the big pigs we have discovered are:

The hot water heater:  These really gobble up electricity.  When it is time to replace, go for the best energy efficiency you can manage.  We have a heat pump water heater.  There are several settings to help with changing demand.  Hybrid setting uses both the heat pump and regular electrical settings to meet flexible needs.  High demand can be used if you have company and need to keep those showers going.  Vacation setting drops it down to just barely warm until you get home.

There are ways to save energy with an old model too. 

If it was made before ’04 it needs to have an insulating jacket.  You can find these at home supply stores for about $15. 

Also, insulate your hot water pipes so they don’t cool your water as it comes to your faucet. 

You can lower the setting on your hot water heater.  Most sources say 120* is hot enough.

Drain the sediment.  Check out this link for more on that: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/water-heaters/water-heater-energy-saving-tips/3/ 

Electronics: One night turn off all your lights and look around.  See all those glowing places?  They are being run by electricity.  It is estimated that consumer spend about $100 a year running electronics when they are NOT being used.  That’s right… just light a match to a $100 bill because that is the benefit you’ve gotten. 

And if you have a plasma TV… better sit down.  When turned OFF, they can still draw up to $150 a year in electricity!! 

The easiest way to deal with them is to just unplug when you are not using them.

However, since a lot of these have hidden outlets or are just a pain to reach, you can install a power strip with an on/off switch.  Make sure it is rated for the amount of amps that will be pulled!  Then you will just have to flip a switch to cut the power and save.

The plus side of this is it is much safer… there is less chance of a fire starting when the electronic device has no power.  And don’t forget lightning as I recently learned!  


And there are some little piglets too.

 By themselves they don’t use all that much electricity, but together they help put quite a dent in the budget. 

Little piggers like:

Battery chargers (phone, tablets, etc).

Anything with a clock, such as microwaves.

Routers. 

These don’t use all that much by themselves, but when you add all the little piggies together… Oh my!

What can you do to reduce the number of energy hogs in your home?



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