Is it Time to Reprogram Your Thermostat
to Save Money and Energy?

We just turned on the heat for the winter - at least downstairs.

With our oldest daughter now living away from home, and our youngest now in college, our heating needs have changed, so I took the opportunity to reprogram the thermostat. Because of the new schedule, I cut out about 15 hours of heating, and reduced some of the temperatures. Save money - save energy ... all good.

Always look for opportunities to save money and energy as your life changes:

  • Doing less laundry as children move out of the house? Always wash full loads and do it less often rather than reducing the water level. It is a much more efficient way to wash and you will save money and energy.
  • When you cook, cook for leftovers so you use the stove less. For instance, grill up extra pieces of chicken, then use the extras on salads later in the week. Not only will you save money and energy, but your life will also be easier - save your energy too! (Plus, it’s healthy!)
  • For big savings, take a good hard look at your transportation needs. You may be able operate with only one car now, so consider getting rid of one - LOTS of savings there! Less gas, less maintenance, less insurance equals big savings.
  • You probably won't use as many lights as your children move out of the house - less lighting saves money and energy. And keep changing bulbs to energy saving Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Bulbs for even more energy and money savings.
  • If you no longer watch several televisions every day any more, unplug the unused ones to save their "phantom power" drain. Remember, anything with a remote control uses power even when it is off. You can plug them back in when needed.
  • Is there a clock radio or stereo with a clock or remote control in your child’s empty room? You don’t need it consuming power when no one is looking at it, so unplug it until your students come home for vacations and holidays. Even an air conditioner that has a remote control is consuming watts while it is sitting there. And, since the school year is during the cooler weather, take air conditioners out of the window, then close and seal tightly.
  • And while your child is away at school, turn off the heat in that room and keep the door closed so it won’t chill the rest of the house. Remember, turn the heat back on a day or so before they come home for vacations and holidays so the room is warm and inviting when they get home.
  • Because you aren’t feeding so many people, you use fewer dishes. Use your dishwasher every other day rather than every day. Always wash full loads.

The important thing is be your own "Energy Patrol" and always think about saving wherever you can. You save a great deal of energy, lower your utility bills, and reduce the resources needed to create that energy. Even if you create electricity with your own wind and solar systems, use less doing day-to-day tasks and you have more for other things.

Take a look at Wind and Solar Power for your home.

© Copyright 2009 Dan Davenport

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