Energy Efficient Holiday Décor, Part 1

There are festive lights all about, holiday parties to attend, family to visit, and places to go. Altogether, though, that adds up to a lot of energy use. Some of your decorations may be sapping more precious watts than you think, but with a few upgrades, you can bask in the glow of bright lights and big savings.

Lighting the outside of your home can take a lot of work. Untangling strings of lights, climbing up and down ladders to mount them around your home, plugging them all in only to find the strand won’t turn on; the list goes on and on. At least with that last part, we have a tip that can save you some frustration. LED lights are more durable, last considerably longer, and are more energy efficient than common incandescent lights.

LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, are made from a semiconductor and

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5 Energy Saving Tips for Dishwashers

Washing dishes can be a pain, but dishwashers take much of that pain away. These beasts of burden clean our dishes while we tend to other things, whether it’s spending time with the family, relaxing, or sleeping. Soon after, the dishes are done, nice and clean. But have you ever considered how efficient your dishwasher is being? It doesn’t take a brand new dishwasher to be an efficient model, just a few bits of knowledge can go a long way toward making it more efficient, thus saving you money.

1. Scraping By – Just about everyone tries to pre-clean their plates before loading them in the dishwasher. You have to ask yourself: is that worth it? Sure, you don’t want to have caked on grime you have to clean later, but you also don’t want to put an essentially clean plate in the dishwasher either. Scrape off

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How to Have an Energy Efficient Thanksgiving, Pt. 3

This Thursday is Thanksgiving, also known as Turkey Day to some. Whether you’re roasting, frying, stuffing, or doing anything else to your festive bird, we have a few tips to make your feast an energy efficient one. So get comfy, and get ready to chow down on some juicy knowledge that will leave you (and your wallet!) full.

Better Cooking through Technology

Most people, including just about all professional chefs, prefer to use gas stoves over electric ones. The reason for this is that gas can achieve and maintain a higher temperature than electric ranges and ovens can. Some prefer electric feeling it is cheaper to run. The truth is gas is definitely superior, because even if electrical ovens are cheaper to run per minute, they often require more time, negating any savings.

However, there is a form of electrical cooking that is far more efficient, fast,

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Why You Should Unplug Appliances at Night

We’ve mentioned quite a bit that unplugging unused electronic devices will keep them from leaching energy even while they are off. This is known as the “vampire effect” or “phantom load” and it occurs when an appliance or electronic device draws even just a minimal amount of power. A lot of the time, this minimal power goes toward lighting an LED display or operating an internal clock, but the energy used, no matter how small, does have an impact on your energy use at home.

Some appliances have clocks in them and don’t really need it. Do you need to have your coffee maker automatically start on a set schedule, or can you start it manually? Unplugging the coffee maker overnight will save energy and you can plug it in in the morning when you’re ready to make your coffee. Other appliances reserve some constant power for

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6 Ways to Make Your Fridge Run Efficiently

Is your refrigerator running? Well then you better go catch it! And probably clean it too. Your fridge is running all the time, and even though it likely won’t win any marathons, it still needs to be taken care of as if it were. An efficient fridge will last longer and keep your food fresher. There are several aspects to refrigerator efficiency that you can look at yourself and make sure it’s running at peak capacity.

1. Clean the Coils – The condenser coils behind your fridge may be a pain to get to, but if you let them get dirty, you may as well dump money out the window. These coils release heat, and when they are covered in dirt, they can’t release the heat as efficiently. This results in the fridge having to actively cool itself for a longer period of time.

2. Seal It

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How to Have an Energy Efficient Thanksgiving, Pt. 2

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we’re serving up some appetizing energy saving ideas to make your Thanksgiving dinner fun, full of life, and free of wasted energy. Last week, we looked at keeping the oven door closed to keep heat from escaping, using certain cookware or ovens that allow you to reduce cooking temperature or time, and cutting back on the thermostat by letting all the cooking heat your home instead. This week, we have some more tips that will keep the energy bills low this holiday season, so let’s get to it!

Chestnuts Roasting in a (too hot) Oven

Some ovens may vary in set temperature and their actual temperature. Before Thanksgiving comes, make a few dishes in your oven, but use a separate, free standing thermometer to check the oven’s temperature while you cook something. If the oven temperature is higher or lower

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Stovetop Cooking Tips for Energy Efficient Meals

The stove top is a really inefficient cooking surface. Electric cooktops can only work effectively if the whole pot or pan is touching the surface. That means that warped cookware is wasting heat. The pots and pans need to be properly sized to the heating elements, or they either won’t get enough heat, or excess heat will be lost. So how do we maximize the efficiency of this inefficient cooking surface?

Well, for starters, let’s continue with the element size. Using a pot or pan with a heating element that is the same size is the most efficient. All of the heat transferred through the element gets transferred to the pot or pan. If the element is too small, the pot or pan won’t heat quickly enough. If the element is too large, more heat is lost than is transferred. Recently, a man named Thomas Povey, who

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Tricks to Saving Fuel on the Road

There are many ways people try to conserve fuel, squeezing every mile out of a gallon of gas. Some of these methods like keeping your vehicle well-tuned and maintained are legitimate, practical methods, while others like making only right turns are legitimate ways to save fuel, but they can be a bit ridiculous. Some people pour additives into their fuel in an effort to make it burn more efficiently, but a lot of times it’s all snake oil. Fortunately, we do have a few ideas that can save you money on the road.

Group Transportation

Carpooling is perfect for people who work together in an office and live nearby one another. It’s far more efficient to have four people ride in one car than four people riding in four cars. Yes, the added weight to the vehicle reduces miles per gallon efficiency, but it still outweighs the

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How to Have an Energy Efficient Thanksgiving, Pt. 1

Big meals, big family gatherings, and big energy bills come around this time of year. The holidays see a lot of feasts and with these great feasts comes a lot of energy use, which can cause some energy bills to rise faster than the temperatures outside can drop. Fortunately, we have a few tips so you can have an energy efficient Thanksgiving and keep those energy prices low.

Pretend that Pot is a Present

Every time you cook something in an enclosed space, like a pot or an oven, the air inside becomes very hot. This heat cooks the food pretty evenly. Now, if you open it up early, you’re losing a lot of that heat in the enclosed space. So pretend your pots and oven are big ol’ present and don’t peek! Every peek loses about 25°F worth of heat that the oven or burner needs

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The Pros of Lighting Controls

While it isn’t the most prominent use of energy in your home, lighting is very important and still contributes to about 10% of your total energy use. Reducing your energy use through lighting can certainly have a positive effect on your energy bill, and there are a few ways you can do this. The most obvious way is to switch to energy efficient bulbs if you haven’t already, as this can save up to 80% of the energy used in lighting. But what if you already have energy efficient bulbs? Then it’s time to look at lighting control switches.

Dimmer Switch

Dimmer switches are a very common switch type that has been used to reduce the brightness of incandescent bulbs. The switch usually features either a slider or a dial that controls the flow of electricity to a light bulb. By reducing the amount of energy you

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