Guest Blogger #571, Entry #1288, June 15, 2012
Want to go green? Feeling daunted by the challenge? Well, you don’t need to be. There are plenty of easy, affordable ways that you can cut down on your energy use at home. Doing so can not only help the environment, it can save you money on your energy bills.
Here are 5 room-by-room ideas for a greener home.
Home Theater Room: Leave your TV in the dark
You might love your TV, but you don’t need to put in the spotlight. Keeping the room dark while watching your favorite shows and movies can actually help your TV use less energy.
In a brighter room, the TV screen will also have to be brighter for you to see a good picture, since it’s competing with ambient light sources, like room lighting or even the sun. An easy way to save energy is to keep your home theater room dark and adjust the backlight brightness of your TV. Some flat screen TVs will even do this automatically!
Kitchen: Use the right-sized burner on your range
Whether you’re scrambling eggs or boiling soup, go green (with energy, not necessarily your food) by making sure to use a burner that matches the size of your pan. According to ENERGY STAR, a program of the EPA and Department of Energy, using the right-sized burner can save you $36 a year for an electric range and $18 a year for a gas one. Some ranges feature adjustable elements for cooking flexibility.
If you really want to go green, you may also want to consider induction burners. Because they heat the pan directly — instead of a metal coil — there’s less energy lost. Plus it heats up just as quickly as gas. While it does require your pans be made of a ferrous (that is, magnetic) material, it’s easy to test what you have with a kitchen magnet.
Home Office: Go with a laptop
If you’re going to invest in a new computer, consider getting a laptop instead of a desktop. Desktop computers can use up to three times the energy that laptops do. Look for a laptop that’s ENERGY STAR rated, which means it meets certain requirements for energy efficiency.
Laundry Room: Wash with colder water
Unless you’re dealing with tough stains, turn down the water temperature. ENERGY STAR reports that the process of heating water accounts for about 90% of the energy used to operate a clothes washer. Switching to cold water is the best way to go green, but even switching to warm can cut your energy use in half.
Living Room: Choose an LED flat screen TV
If you’re ready to invest in a new flat screen TV, choose an LED TV. LED TVs use less energy than a Plasma, saving you money over time. Some models even come equipped with a sensor that adjusts the screen’s brightness depending on the light in the room. You’ll get the best picture possible while using as little energy as possible.
Becky Margolis is a consumer electronics blogger and staff-writer at Vann’s Electronics, a Montana-based home electronics store which has been delighting users with top rated electronics and appliances at the best prices and providing outstanding customer service for over 50 years.
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