Turn lightsoff when a room is empty. The average household wastes money on wasted energy. Use CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs in rooms you spend most of your time when home. They use up to 75% less electricity than incandescents and last 10 times longer. It's been estimated that the average household can save up to $65 over the life of a CFL bulb.
Wash full laundry loads in cold water with detergents formulated for cold water. It reduces energy consumption and saves up to $63 a year. Wash a full load of dishes and air dry them at all times. Don't pre-rinse dishes before loading in dishwasher. If done by hand, wash and rinse large piles of dishes in a sink tub. Remember not to leave water running between washing and rinsing.
Set the refrigerator temperature between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and remember to clean coils regularly. Set the water heater temperature at 120 degrees to save energy. Insulate the hot water tank in a jacket designed to reduce the frequency water is heated in the tank and to prolong the life of the heater. Also insulate your hot water pipes.
Left unplugged a laptop costs about $16 annually. Set your computer on hibernate mode. Left unplugged a game console costs approximately $26 annually Left unplugged a plasma TV costs an estimated $160 annually plus it puts out a tremendous amount of heat. Plug all electronics into multi-power strips with built-in sensors that automatically shut off devises not in use.
Take shorter showers with a low-flow shower head to achieve an estimated savings of up to 65% or about $265/year on water bills By stopping drips, the average household saves approximately $70/year. Water efficient toilets use 1.28 gallons /flush and saves the average household approximately $90/year.
Consider paying water utility to install separate meter on faucets used for watering the grass/garden, washing your car and filling up the pool. This way you are not charged for water that does not go in the sewer system and depending on your use, you save a lot of money in the long run.
Have your central furnace and A/C system inspectedannually. Approximately 40 percent of residential energy bills are for heating and cooling and remember to change your filter monthly. Use ceiling and other fans so you can raise the thermostat, reduce power consumption and minimize A/C running costs . For every degree you raise the thermostat above 72 degrees, you save 5% to7% on cooling costs. Use a programmable thermostat. It saves you money. Turning your heat thermostat down by 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours can save up to 10% on your energy bill. Use window tint, curtains and shades to cover your windows and reduce your AC use.
Check your tire pressure every time you fill-up your gas tank. Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage by as much as 3%. Reduce your gasoline and other related costs by $100 a year or more, by driving at the posted speed limits, combining trips, using public transportation, biking or walking.
Keep your vehicle well maintained by following the manufacturer's suggested service schedule.
TIPS FOR PROPER USE & CARE OF YOUR SOLAR POWERED APPLIANCE
For maximum solar gain, orient solar panel in a clear (no shade or shadow) southern direction.
Handle DC charge current and AC inverter current with care, DC volts can shock and kill as sure as AC volts
Remove protective plastic cover, found on smaller panels, prior to installation.
Improve solar gain by installing panel no higher than you can reach with a slightly damp duster, to periodically clean off dust/dirt, and sweep off accumulated snow (once per month is recommended).
For optimum performance do not store solar lights/equipment for prolonged periods. It shortens battery life. If equipment must be stored, then ensure it is charged at least once a month.
Allowing battery to charge and discharge, through use of lights/equipment, optimizes its performance.
Ensure that solar powered lanterns/lights/generators are switched off when they are not in use.
When charging flashlights/radios and portable electronics by, AC or DC sources, follow the manufacturers' instructions and do not exceed suggested charge duration.
Most solar panels will charge from a strong light source such as an incandescent light bulb of 60W or higher. Of course, the bigger the panel, the stronger the light source has to be. If you need a boost charge for items such as a solar phone charger or radio, this is a good short-term solution.
When replacing rechargeable batteries be sure you use the right type as recommended by equipment. manufacturer- Ni-HM (nickel metal hydride) and Ni-CAD (nickel cadmium) are rechargeable batteries with a similar working voltage of 1.2V, they are not necessarily interchangeable unless specifically directed by equipment manufacturer.
On balance, Ni-HM batteries, (a newer technology) are better than Ni-CAD batteries- (a.) they hold a charge longer -with a higher mAh rating, (b.) do not have to be fully discharged prior to recharge- have no memory effect, (c.) you can charge a Ni-HM battery almost twice as many times as a NI-CAD battery, and (d.) they are not an environmental hazard. Ni-HM batteries work great in high drainage devises such as flash lights, cameras, radios, etc.
If applicable, and in cases of impending inclement weather, power outage or planned trip to a remote location, charge your solar powered equipment by AC or DC power, and when access to grid power is no longer possible, recharge equipment by solar power, dynamo crank or DC power.
EXTEND YOUR SMART PHONE'S BATTERY LIFE Tips and tricks to make sure your most necessary gadget keeps going as long as you do
No matter what type of smartphone you have, the device can serve as your MP3 player, digital camera, gaming system, and even your TV while you're out and about — as long as you have battery power. If it seems like smarter phones are getting less life out of their batteries... you're absolutely right. Smartphones can help you get a lot done while traveling, but if you're doing a lot on one in a day, you're apt to see your screen go dark long before the sun goes down.
Watching out for a few small things during your day, however, can help extend battery life on your trusty device and make sure you've got enough juice to make it all day and well into the night.
Mixed signals It takes extra juice for your smartphone to search for a data connection. If you're somewhere where you won't get a signal, like an airplane or subway, putting your phone in airplane mode or turning it off altogether will prevent it from draining your battery. Turning your phone on does require a bit of extra power, so it's best to save shutting it off for times when you plan to leave it off for a while, rather than something like a 20-minute subway ride to work in the morning. Thinking of it as car mode or subway mode instead of airplane mode might just be the mental trick you need!
Likewise, turn off wifi when you don't need it. When it's active, your phone scans for available wifi connections constantly, which kills battery life. If you're using the wifi in a coffee shop or bookstore, remember to disable that connection when you're done to avoid draining your battery while you're on the road.
Your battery bleeds faster when you're inattentive. Focus on the task at hand Sure, you can have your email open, search for directions to a local restaurant, watch a video on YouTube, and play Angry Birds at the same time — but chances are you're really only focused on one of those tasks. Everything you have open on your phone is using some amount of battery power. Try to focus on doing just one thing at a time on your phone, and close unnecessary applications to keep them from draining your battery. Things like your GPS and the bluetooth connection you use to connect to your hands-free device in the car gobble up a ton of battery power and are of no use to you unless you're doing a few specific tasks. Bright future Bright screens look great but are a huge drain on your phone's battery. To stretch your phone's life, go into the controls or settings and dim the backlight or brightness of your screen. While the dimmest setting might be difficult to read (especially if you're somewhere brightly lit), something toward the middle will extend your battery life without putting too much strain on your eyes. If your phone has an auto-brightness option, using that can be a one-step solution to balancing battery life and ease of reading.
Along those same lines, try to avoid using animated backgrounds on your phone. Remember, the less you ask of your phone, the less it draws on your battery.
Bad vibrations It takes more battery power for your phone to vibrate than it does to ring. While you absolutely want to have your phone on vibrate (or turned off) when you're at a movie or in a meeting, keeping your ringer on at other times can help extend battery life.
Mandatory nap time Just as you would with a toddler, the easiest way to make sure your smartphone's battery lasts all night is to give it a nap at some point during the day. If you're headed into a meeting for a few hours, turn off your phone and leave it in your desk. Likewise, if you're out to dinner with close friends or on a date, turn off your phone and focus on your companions. Not only will you look like a better employee and friend for focusing on the people around you in real life, you'll also save that much more juice for later.
Still having trouble? If you still find yourself running out of battery life before the end of the day, plug into a charging bag or use an external battery pack such as Morphie's JuicePack to strap on some extra power for the road.