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Useful tips to save energy

Useful tips to save energy
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First Published: Thu, Nov 29 2007. 12 31 AM IST
Updated: Thu, Nov 29 2007. 12 31 AM IST
You know that every drop counts. It’s the same when you account for your home’s total electricity consumption: it is the sum of many appliances, from small to large. Between light bulbs, mobile chargers, water heaters, the refrigerator, and other gadgets, your home’s energy consumption will shoot up considerably if you are not careful about using them judiciously. Here are a few pointers on how you can save energy and reduce your electricity bills in the bargain. Use dimmers to reduce electrical load and power consumption of the lamps
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), which use only about one-third of the electricity. It has been observed that substituting a quarter of the incandescent bulbs in high-use areas can cut the amount of electricity consumed by half. CFLs also generate less heat.
For desktop work, use task lighting rather than illuminating the whole room .
Cool the bedroom and living areas to no less than 24°C as it will give you the most comfort at the least cost. For every degree set above 24°C, you spend up to 5% more electricity.
Keep your refrigerator or freezer full. An empty fridge cycles on and off more frequently without any mass to hold the cold. If you are low on foodstuff, keep a container of ice in the freezer.
Lowering refrigeration temperature only wastes power. Set it between 3°C and 5°C, and the freezer temperature between –18°C and –15°C.
Check your water heater: If its surface is hot or even warm, some of the energy used is being wasted. Wrap it in an insulating blanket.
When installing a hot-water tank, make sure that you place the unit as close as possible to the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. Heat is lost in long pipe runs. Reducing the length of a hot water pipe from 10m to 3m will save enough energy in one month to heat water for 10 showers. Similarly, thin pipes are more energy-efficient than thicker ones: larger amounts of hot water are trapped in thicker pipes, therefore more heat is lost.
Don’t overfill the kettle for just one drink. Heat only the required amount.
Run your washing machine or dryer with full loads. Drying smaller loads uses just as much energy and overloading will increase drying time.
Computers use up to 70% less electricity when you put them in sleep mode. So don’t use screen savers.
Devices such as TV sets, VCRs, DVD players and mobile chargers eat up maximum power, even on standby.
Remember to switch off the computer when not in use, or when idle for more than two hours. Did you know that a computer switched on for an hour consumes as much energy as a 14-watt compact lamp for 24 hours?
A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than desktop models. Better Interiors
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First Published: Thu, Nov 29 2007. 12 31 AM IST
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