Your Lighting and Appliances
Did you know that 90% of the energy used by a conventional incandescent light bulb is lost as heat? Or that some appliances use electricity even when they're not turned on? This is the kind of energy inefficiency you can change in a few small, easy steps.
Get in Touch with your Circadian RhythmCut back on energy use by optimizing daylight! Start and end the day earlier. Your circadian rhythm, or "biological clock," takes natural cues to wake and rest according to daylight. Choose to work outside. Open curtains. Consider installing skylights or light tubes in your roof.
Turn Off Lights and Unplug AppliancesKill the phantom load! The surest way to stop the energy drain is to use a power strip or simply pull the plug. That means when you're done with an appliance, disconnect it from the power source. TVs, computers, and game consoles are some of the biggest standby-energy hogs at home.
Automate your lightingAutomated controls are an effective and low-cost means to save energy. Choose the easy way by using timers, photocells and motion sensors. The best part is you don't even have to do anything once they are set up!
Switch to energy-efficient lightingReplace your most-used standard bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) which will save $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime. Make sure to recycle CFLs since they contain small amounts of mercury.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) consume even less energy than CFLs. While LED lights can be more costly, LED holiday lights are competitively priced with conventional light strings.
Replace halogen torchiere lamps with CFLs as the energy-hungry halogens typically use ten times more energy than the compact fluorescent ones.
Fluorescent lights, although more common in commerical buildings, are sometimes found in homes, too. The more efficient T8 lamps with electronic ballasts are becoming the norm, replacing the older T12 lamps with magnetic ballasts. T5 lamps and LEDs in common fluorescent sizes are also available. T5 lamps are smaller, more efficient, and brighter than T8 and T12 lamps. T8 lamps are typically placed out of direct line of sight to reduce glare.
Make your next light fixture an ENERGY STAR™.
Use Appliances EfficientlyWhen buying new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR™ label to ensure your purchase is energy efficient. Only run your dishwasher and laundry appliances with full loads. Clothes dryers use a lot of energy so try hanging your laundry out to dry instead - nothing smells better than clean sheets off the line!
Get rid of your old, inefficient fridge. Most appliance dealers will include pick up of your old energy hog when the new unit is delivered. Missouri’s ENERGY STAR™ sales tax holiday is available to help residents replace older appliances with new ENERGY STAR™ appliances.