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mattbrowne's avatar

What's your favorite way for saving electricity or gas with minimal impact on quality of life?

Asked by mattbrowne (31674points) November 23rd, 2011

Here’s one of mine (November-March):

Two sets of ice packs. One is outside the house during frosty days and nights and the other inside the refrigerator on the top shelf (cold air is heavier). They get exchanged regularly. Works also with tap-water-filled plastic bottles.

I wonder if half a billion refrigerator owners did this, how much money would they save per year and how many tons of CO2 would not be released into our atmosphere?

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19 Answers

Yanaba's avatar

Laundry off-peak. I’m a big night owl so I’m always doing laundry over night… yes it’s loud but earplugs go a long way ;)

rts486's avatar

I put on a sweater.

dabbler's avatar

Turn stuff off ! Lights on in unoccupied rooms, please. I know that’s not novel but it’s not on a lot of people’s radar.
At work I see conference rooms with the whole fancy teleconference system with big flat-screen displays, cameras, and computers all left on after a meeting (with the other end on too – empty room talking to empty room). I’m frequently turning whole rooms off.

I gave a GQ for that elegantly simple ice-pack-swap idea. It’s a modern take on the old style ice-box. Just brilliant !

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We have a small electric fireplace that heats the living room that we’re in most of the time. It cut our electric bill by about 10 to 15 percent.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have an electric dryer. In the winter I vent it to the inside of the house. That benefits me in 3 ways:
1) All the heat stays in the house.
2) No cold air is sucked into the house.
3) All the much needed humidity stays inside.
(Also, it smells so good but that is only my opinion.)

I live in a cold, dry climate. This trick will not work for everyone.

bongo's avatar

I hang my clothes to dry
I always walk to university
I always wear a jumper or two and slippers and socks
I use a quilt and hot water bottle (sometimes an extra blanket too)
I only boil the amount of water I need
I keep my boiler temperature low and turn it up manually if I want to have a bath or something.
I turn all lights off when I leave the room
I don’t leave phone chargers plugged in and turn things off at the plug.
I don’t have a dishwasher.
I close the curtains before it gets dark to keep the heat in.
I have blankets in the living room to put over me if I get cold sitting still watching tv.
I use my microwave whenever possible as it uses less energy to heat things than cooking on the stove.
I turn the radiators right down in areas of the house which don’t need to be heated as much e.g. the kitchen and bathroom.

LuckyGuy's avatar

In the winter, I shower with the bathroom door open a little and do not use the exhaust fan. The fan wastes energy by blowing valuable, heated, moist air out of the house while sucking in freezing cold dry air.

Like the dryer trick this only works if you live in a place that is dry and cold. My indoor relative humidity is only 35% today. Can someone please ship me their extra unneeded humidity?

wundayatta's avatar

We are about to insulate the attic and the joists in the basement and wherever else makes sense. We have a very old, drafty house.

CaptainHarley's avatar

LMAO! Son, if you put a bag of ice outside in the dead of Winter here in Texas, guess what you’ll have in the morning? Water! Maybe even steam! : D

Coloma's avatar

I’m a warmth monger, us cats like to be warm and cozy. lol
I like to be warm in my house, able to wander around comfortably in light clothing and I like it really warm when I get out of the shower.
My home is very energy efficient and if I turn the heat up to about 72 it stays warm in here for hours.
I have great insulation, even in the floors. :-)

I also keep my hot tub cranked up all winter, and even with that I never have an electric bill over $68.
Now propane on the other hand, it is outta control, just had the $518 fill at 20% still in my tank.
The next fill will be even higher.
This is my only bill that I put on my credit card during the winter. haha
However, as long as I can afford it this little kitty wants to be warm. lol

I do pay attention to not using my dryer in hot weather and turn my heat way down to about 62 at night, but, my contributions to mother earth manifest most strongly in other areas, like keeping my 5 acres pesticide free and as a mini-wildlife preserve. :-)

flutherother's avatar

I don’t own a car and I wear a jumper in the house in winter.

Coloma's avatar


A jumper? I that like a frock? lol

flutherother's avatar

Nooooooooooo a jumper over here is more like a sweater made of wool and quite heavy.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

We do laundry and dishes off peak hours- we don’t use the dry feature on the dishes and all laundry is cold water/cold rinse, most laundry can be hung to dry.

Our freezer is a bottom drawer of our refrigerator and it’s full most of the time.

We don’t run our appliances all at once.

We can get away without using the heater unless company is over.

gondwanalon's avatar

We don’t have natural gas only electricity. We mostly use a wood stove for heat. I take card board boxes from work to burn in our wood stove. Just three medium sized boxes will warm up our living room very fast and the heat rises up to our up-stairs bed room. Also I collect wood pallets when I can get them for free. I cut them up and burn them also. Junk mail and old phone book burn good too.

I put our electric water heater on a timer. It kicks on for only 2 hours in the morning.

I never take a long shower. When warm water comes out of the shower-head I see dollars going down the drain. When I take a shower, I get wet then turn off the water and soap-up then rinse off quickly and sometimes I just take a bird bath in the sink.

blueiiznh's avatar

I commute on a bicycle whenever possible.
I own a diesel vehicle.
I installed motion sensors for the lights in several rooms that are only active at night and shut off automatically after one minute of non motion.
I dry clothes outside in warm weather and on rack inside during winter.
I use fireplace and woodstove in winter.
My outdoor lighting is solar.
Remote control themostat that I change house temp from an app on my phone.
Lights are on only where needed and usually off anyway.

Incoherency_'s avatar

I’ve secretly tapped into all my neighbor’s services, and my QOL is just fine! ;-D

mattbrowne's avatar

Thanks for this !

lonelydragon's avatar

Washing clothes in cold water and hanging laundry up to dry.

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