Southern California’s utility rates are among the highest in the country, so taking a little time for calculating your energy usage can help you trim those costs. When you know how much electricity or fuel an appliance or product uses, you can adjust your usage or take steps to use the product more wisely.
The systems in your home that consume the most energy are:
- Cooling and heating. Your home’s cooling and heating system use the most energy. Keeping the air filters clean and the system professionally maintained annually cuts its energy consumption by as much as 25 percent, according to the Department of Energy.
- Water heaters. Water heating, especially if you have a storage tank, is a big energy consumer in your home. You can turn the heater down to 120 degrees to consume less and wrap it with an insulating blanket to cut costs.
- Clothes dryers. An electric clothes dryer can use as many as 1,000 kilowatts of power annually, which translates to $120 a year with rates at $0.12 per kilowatt. Pulling the laundry out before it’s completely dry saves energy, and your clothing, since overdrying fabric damages it.
- Refrigerator and freezer. Keeping your refrigerator and freezer full lowers the cost of running it, since the food inside retains cold longer than air does. If you can’t fill it with food, put in water bottles or store flour or sugar inside it in airtight bags or containers.
Calculating your energy usage for the other appliances in your home is possible by finding the watts they use each hour and dividing by 1,000. Vacuum cleaners, clothes irons, microwaves, stoves and toaster ovens are among the other appliances in your home that use a good deal of power.
Some appliances carry EnergyGuide labels that indicate their efficiency. Choosing those that have high ratings or carry the “Most Efficient” or Energy Star label will help you decide between one or another.
If you’d like more information about calculating your energy usage, contact Air-Tro. We’ve provided HVAC services for Pasadena and the surrounding area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock