By Heinz Bulos
1. Buy energy efficient. Look for appliances with the highest Energy Efficient Factor (EEF) as it is more efficient and costs less to operate. If you replace an old EER 5 air conditioning unit with a new EER 10 unit, you’ll cut your costs in half.
2. Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). A 16-watt CFL produces the same light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb but consumes 75% less energy and lasts 10 times longer.
3. Clean and maintain your appliances. The three biggest energy hogs at home are your air conditioner, refrigerator, and cooking range. Make sure to maintain them regularly to keep them running efficiently. Clean the filter and coils of your AC as a clogged filter uses 5% more energy. Clean your refrigerator’s condenser coils, which remove heat, at least once a year. Check that the seals on the door of both your fridge and oven are air-tight.
4. Use your air conditioner efficiently. Keep it in the shade as that saves 5% less energy than when exposed directly to sunlight. Turn lights off to reduce the heat. Use light colored window shades or curtains to reflect sunlight. Keep all doors and windows closed tight. Install a plug-in timer to shut if off automatically or programmable thermostat that can adjust the temperature on its own.
5. Turn off, unplug. Turn the lights off if you leave a room for more than 15 minutes. Unplug your electronics if you’re not using them, including transformers or voltage regulators as they consume more electricity when they heat up.