Living sustainably doesn’t mean living off a steady diet of granola and kale or wearing Birkenstocks. In some respects, it simply means making smarter choices about energy consumption. The Commons team is passionate about green living and want to give you information that helps you lead an eco-friendly lifestyle without compromising on comfort or convenience. Let’s take a look at three convenient ways to make your lifestyle more energy efficient.
1. Maximize Machines
Machines work for you, but they don’t have to work all the time. Here’s how you can reduce the energy consumption of three major appliances:
Save water and energy by washing full loads only.
When possible, use cold water to wash clothes. According to Energy Star, heating water accounts for 90% of the energy used to wash your clothes.
One of the simplest ways to make your dryer more energy efficient is to clean the lint filter. This step helps improve air circulation and reduce fire hazards. Get into the habit of cleaning it before each load.
Always run your dishwasher with a full load. For many people, that means running it once every two or three days.
Instead of rinsing off your dishes (which wastes water and energy), simply scrape off any food. With the aid of detergent, most modern dishwashers are powerful enough to clean your dishes without pre-rinsing them first.
2. Work Your Windows
When the weather gets frightful, a closed window is so delightful. Keeping drapes closed in the wintertime reduces heat loss. Alternately, keeping those drapes closed in the summer can mean cooler indoor temperatures, and reduced energy costs.
Although any curtain is better than nothing, opt for insulated curtains, when you can. These curtains often have a high-density foam layer that helps maintain your indoor temperature.
Hang these curtains floor to ceiling. It’s not just for aesthetics. Floor to ceiling curtains blocks cold or hot air from entering and leaving through your windows.
3. Smart TVs
TVs present a great way to save energy. Replacing your 10 year old model with a newer television can save up to half the amount of energy consumption. When you’re shopping for a TV, here are two energy-saving features to look for:
Automatic Brightness Control- Sensors raise and lower the screen brightness for optimal viewing, and better energy management.
Local Dimming- On LED TVS, this energy-saving feature dims or turns off sections of backlighting to produce deeper blacks.
Almost all new TVs offer power saving, or sleep, modes. After a period of inactivity, your TV will automatically shut off. This saves on energy.
Energy Star® rated TVs for 2014 rates TV efficiency here:
Remember, little changes can significantly reduce your energy consumption. Let us know on Facebook and Twitter if you have any go-to energy saving tips!