Fighting high energy costs

By The Old House Web

Want to trim monthly expenses? Contribute to a cleaner environment? Then take a long, hard look at how you use household appliances, saysJudith Wessel, former home management and equipment specialist forOhio State University Extension.

Energy conservation is one way to fight higher electric bills. Youcan do more than turn off lights and appliances not in use. Wesselshares these energy tips:

  • USE THE SMALLEST APPLIANCE YOU CAN to do the job. A toaster usesless energy than a broiler; a slow cooker or pressure cooker usesless than an oven. When cooking small quantities of food, microwaveovens usually use less energy than a range or conventional oven.
  • COOK SEVERAL FOODS at one time in a skillet or in the oven to makemaximum use of the energy being used.
  • PLAN AHEAD and defrost items in the refrigerator, not on thecounter. It's safer, and the frozen food absorbs warmer air,reducing the refrigerator's running time.
  • COVER ALL LIQUIDS in the refrigerator. Moisture evaporates fromuncovered liquids and makes the refrigerator work harder.
  • WHEN LAUNDERING, use hot water only when necessary. Always usecold water for rinsing.
  • STUDY ENERGY guide labels when buying new appliances. Energy guidelabels are required on all major appliances except ranges and clothesdryers, which differ little in their energy usage. Energy-efficientappliances save you money in the long run, although they usually costmore up front.

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