This thread is not about low effort fixes like more efficient light bulbs, it is a list for the hardcore greenies willing to put the same effort into saving energy at home as they do when hypermiling.
Here is a list of what I have thought of so far:
- While watching tv, shut it off during the commercial breaks like when FASing your car, or put it on mute like a Nice-on coast.
- While using the stove to scramble eggs or saute something turn the stove off before the eggs or whatever you are cooking is completely done and use the heat that is retained in the pan to finish cooking. Kind of like a pulse and glide.
- While showering, only turn the water on briefly to get wet, then turn it off to soap up, then on again to rinse off. Like FASing when idleing.
you could easly find out with a kila-watt meter if turning your TV off for a few minutes at a time is going to save anything, but I suspect that it will simply wear your tv out faster, as the on-off cycles are one of the things that kill electronics, if you want to save energy with your TV, do what a friend of mine does, and keep it in a rubbermade tub in the garage, you want to watch a movie you haul it out, plug it and the DVD player in, watch your movie and haul it back out, it makes your living room much more friendly while having people over, and prevents you from watching tv without something in mind.
Some ideas from the past:
We don't have a fridge, so we keep everything in a cool room in a cooler. Things last nearly as long this time of year when it is cold outside and the cold room is 40 deg F. When we need to keep something frozen we throw the cooler out in the snowbank for a couple days. We keep root crops like potatoes and carrots in the root cellar where it is humid and cold. We still have carrots from last season that are in good shape, same with potatoes. then we dont have to drive to the store as often.
A wood cook stove is really nice. It provides all the heat our home needs, and does 97 percent of the cooking this time of year. It has an oven that dumps heat into the room. to use it for baking you just shut the door. wood is not as clean as some other fuels, but we can get it right outside our door, and need to clear a few trees from time to time anyway.
Those are old homesteading tricks. In town I would try and reduce clothes dryer use. If you can dry clothes on a rack or line inside, you would save much power.
Of course unplug everything when not in use or plug things into surge protector and turn off when not using.
Pack a lot of people into your house. You will use roughly the same amt of electricity for lighting and refrigeration, and it will be split between more people.
Agreed, but at the same rate some of the techniques really do require installing some technology in order to achieve perfection. For instance, programmable digital thermostats can set the temperature at certain times of day for the purpose of energy savings but try and DIY all it takes is one mistake and 30 days worth of savings just got thrown out the window.
Also more than a few of these require reading up on certain energy saving sites so as to learn the proper procedure, correct settings, etc.
However, here are some of my home ice-fas-glides:
Always the temperature of the house ought to be slightly cooler at night than during the day, which is not to say you should turn it up at day but do turn it down at night (in winter) and in summer turn it up during the day.
The idea is to allow indoor temperatures to be more along what is happening outside, hence less strain on the climate control... Keep in mind it takes hours for the insulation to catch up to outdoor temperature changes, as a good rule of thumb one should wait 4-6 hours between an outdoor change and an indoor equalization...
Usually I change my temperatures around midnight and noon in summer, around 9pm and 10am in winter, and the thermostat does it for me.
Turn the shower water faucet down to almost a trickle, or slightly above, this saves considerable water vs. full steam (that is, of course, you already HAVE a water saver faucet).
For dual thermostat water heaters, turn the bottom thermostat on the water heater to 3-4 degrees lower than the top thermostat, since heat rises anyhow this saves a minor amount of energy while you feel no difference in the temperature (thou it does slightly reduce the time before it runs out of hot water completely, but if this is a problem you're doing it wrong lol).
Do most cooking / hot food prep in winter, eat more cold stuff in summer.
2 and 3 liter soda bottles or any other thing I buy at the store that is room temperature but requires refrigeration, I stick it outside on the porch overnight then put it in freezer. To further save energy I only get the stuff sitting outside as I walk back IN the house coming home so I don't open the front door for free.
In winter, when boiling water for any reason (like cooking eggs or pasta) don't dump the hot water down the drain! Instead either let it sit in the pan until it's cool or plug up the sink and dump it in there. The heat from the water will transmit into the building, granted the effect is minor.
If you have a basement, on warm days in winter consider opening this up to the outdoors. Basements are usually a lot cooler than the rest of the house, for instance mine is at 52 right now so if I get a day of 60 degree weather I open up the door, even a mild change in the basement makes a difference, once again because heat rises.
If you have an attic, consider installing an electric exhaust fan that runs all summer long. Also in winter if it gets warm up there during a sunny day, consider having a way to draw this air down into the house (thou I do admit here in VA this tends to be a rather humid air).
A FE gauge should be standard equipment in every vehicle.
Although I would not characterize the quality of bread machine bread being 'bad', there's no comparison to a good oven baked bread. Either is usually better than popular store brands though - which actually are the most efficient use of energy with the mass baking. :P
On the rice cooker. Plus, the converted rice that many people boil is about the worst stuff I've ever tasted.
We get a double whammy on efficiency by using a rice cooker with a steamer tray on top - which usually works out pretty well since the only veggies we usually steam we prefer to serve with rice anyway. But the microwave is still a good second option there if done properly.