It’s summer, and chances are that residential ACs are buzzing, driving up energy consumption as the temperature rises. In your kitchen and beyond, these five moves can contribute to a more energy-efficient life:
- Air conditioning units drive much of the energy use in the summer. In the U.S. they use roughly 6 percent of all the electricity produced in the country. Switching to high-efficiency ACs can reduce a unit’s energy use by half. Also, keeping windows covered during the day to block out the sun’s heat will help keep the house cool.
- If you can, choose an energy-efficient refrigerator. They’re more expensive, but if you’re going to spend that little bit extra on any one kitchen appliance, make it the fridge. It’s switched on 24/7, so having an energy-efficient model really helps save energy and lower your bills.
- When using the washing machine, choose a cold rinse. It’s also best to make the most of every wash cycle by filling the machine–or making sure you use a half-load setting if it isn’t full.
- Hang your clothes to dry. It’s hot outside, the sun is shining and clothes dryers are very energy hungry, so hang your clothes on a line or drying rack.
- Change those old lightbulbs for energy-efficient options. Chances are, your kitchen is one of the most well-lit rooms in your house. Replacing traditional or low-efficiency halogen lightbulbs with energy-saving LED (light-emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs could help reduce your energy bills. Although energy-efficient bulbs can be more expensive, they tend to last much longer – sometimes for many years – so you shouldn’t have to change them again for a while.