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Conserve energy and save money

Picture of conserve energy and save money
There are many ways in which your house can become a power and energy leech but with a few simple changes you can save on bills and cut down on your footprint. these are just a few tips that I have run across and most are common knowledge but i feel it is necessary to state them here because i didn't some of these. plus this is my first ever Instructable so be nice. i am entering it in the Earthjustice United States of Efficiency Contest so please vote.
 
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Step 1: Lights

as everyone knows CFLs or compact fluorescent bulbs are the best way to take a chunk out of a few bills at once but there are a a few ways to make those bright beauties work better for you.

1. a CFL on there own reduce electricity use by around 75 percent depending on the bulb itself but the effectiveness of the bulb is cut by about 25 percent by being on dimmer switches and tend to burn out a lot faster than normal bulbs.
(edit: as valhallas_end said it is not a good idea at all to put CFLs on a dimmer only bad things happen like burning the bulb out or hitting the breaker.)

2. similar to dimmer switches, electronic timers tend to cut the life of the bulb as well.

3. for those lights you use the most often or you want to leave on for long periods of time LED light bulbs are a great alternative to the normal incandescent and the even the CFLs. plus LED bulbs last a lot longer than normal light bulbs.

4. in the theme of not leaving lights on motion sensor lights are the best, they turn on only when you pass and turn off seconds after you have left, little to no energy wasted.
rsingh32 years ago
Thanks for the tut! I plan of converting diesel engines to bio diesel over the next few months. Ill probably buy a new engine off of http://www.actionsalvage.com/diesel-engines.asp or something. MY main hangup right now though is finding sources of fuel.
lemonie5 years ago
Not serious enough. How about getting rid of the dryer and AC altogether? (genuine question, as once our ancestors lived without them) L
tealpsyclone (author)  lemonie5 years ago
they are only in there because this is not about going back to the stone ages or medieval times. it is about how to live more eco friendly in a world of technology without going back to stick and stones. I do see where you are coming from though.
I'm assuming that you live somewhere in the USA - not a country founded in the stone ages or medieval times. Air-con' and dryers, like cars are relatively modern and so much a part of the modern world that people have difficulty imagining living without them. This is one reason why energy consumption is so high. L
tealpsyclone (author)  lemonie5 years ago
true i do in fact live in the USA, near chicago. around me it is almost impossible to make a living with out cars or your standard appliances live washers and dryers, when it is about two and a half miles to the nearest bus stop and that only takes you to chicago. so cars and the at home appliances are more important to the people in areas like mine. but everyone can take some helpful hints from this. where do you live?
I've added my location to my profile.
Yes, the USA with such a large amount of land has grown around cars - it does make life difficult when you can't walk to the shop.
But if it's hot enough for AC, you'd think clothes could dry outside on a line, or is it quite humid too? I use the line when it's not raining... I don't have AC, but it seems that Chicago can get quite hot - you must be glad of it.

L
tealpsyclone (author)  lemonie5 years ago
I live in a town called mchenry just out of reach of the lake effect cooling and breeze but in the middle of nowhere enough to cook like a hotdog when the temp can get up to about 100 with about 75 to 80 percent humidity. drying outside is a fruitless effort. with jobs being more scarce now than ever cars are a must. and i like the hot i am originally from Texas but not this humid nasty can't breath heat or the negative air temps that cuts the air out of your chest kind of weather.
Put clothes on a drying rack or drying line indoors easily done in even the smallest apartments or houses. I got rid of my dryer years ago. It's a huge energy waster.
My dad used to complain about Charleston, but that was only the occasional business trip. L
tealpsyclone (author)  lemonie5 years ago
to be totally honest i have no idea what that means.
Charleston - it's a city in the south (USA) can be very hot and humid too - heard of it? L
tealpsyclone (author)  lemonie5 years ago
oh yeah in south carolina i rarely leave illinois but i think i have been in the area. like around hilton head in south carolina too. why would your dad hop the pond to the us; what does he do?
He's retired but he visited here a few times, in connection with turbochargers:
http://marine.cummins.com/mrn/public_cummins/home.jsp?menuId=0

L
tealpsyclone (author)  lemonie5 years ago
thats cool go him.
PKM5 years ago
Mostly good advice. I don't know it your suggestion to "get the chisel!" in step 5 was tongue-in-cheek, but that's not a good idea- if you damage your freezer coils you will fill your house with nasty chemicals and need a new freezer. The best way to deice a freezer is time, plenty of salty or warm water, or if you are feeling brave pointing a hairdryer into it (making sure to keep the electricity away from the water). If you defrost it regularly, though, the ice is more like packed snow than solid ice so you can just brush it off- one of those "a stitch in time" moments.
tealpsyclone (author)  PKM5 years ago
it was a joke, and yeah the best way i found was to just either leave it off for a while or just use salt water and a wire brush.
There is only one warning that should be mentioned. Right now, only highly specialized (and far more expensive) CFL bulbs can be used with dimmer switch bases, so if you need a dimming bulb, buy Cold Cathode Fluorescents (CCFL). If you try a CFL in a dimmer base, you'll burn the bulb almost instantly (known from accidental experience) or blow your house breakers (rarer, but the fuse ratings on the CFL are disturbingly lower than incandescent).
tealpsyclone (author)  valhallas_end5 years ago
actually i was trying to say don't put them on dimmer switches but i couldn't think of a stronger way to say it but good to know i have never had it happen to me.
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