Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Do I Need In Order To Survive An Economic Collapse Or a Natural Disaster? Living Off Grid # 2 Part 2

With the rising cost of utilities, here are some ideas to cut back on usage My husband lost his job two years ago he is working part time and my business has fallen below half of what I was making so we had have to make a lot of cuts. For people who know me they know how extreme I am about this kind of stuff. I am going to share much of what we do and a few things we don’t do yet but need to.

Do not use the lights during the day- open all the curtains and use the daylight. You might think about putting skylights in rooms that don’t have windows or the light is bad We don’t have a window in the laundry room so I am wanting to put in a skylight. It is such a habit to just turn on the lights when you enter a room, and during the day you don’t need the lights on.
Use the clothes line - I hang all my clothes out even in the winter sometimes I have to adjust my wash day if the weather is real bad, I hang even in the cold (There have been times that by the time I got the clothes out of the basket to the line they were already frozen ) they will dry. Back before dryers every one hung clothes all year around. This will also make your clothes last longer ( Where does all that lint come from in the dryer? It’s fibers from your clothes)
Wash Dishes by hand-The dishwasher uses a lot of power and a lot of water ( This is my weakness I have a hard time not using the dishwasher but am working on it).You do need to use a tub for the rinse water so you are not running the water after you are done use the water to water plants or pour into a bucket to use for flushing toilets ( told you I was extreme haha )
A Wood Stove - As I mentioned yesterday a wood stove is great that is the only heat we use I Turned of the furnace when we got the wood stove it has saved us so much money on heating cost. I have a large pot with a lid full of water to heat water for cooking, washing dishes and washing hand and faces
Use compact fluorescent bulbs (I personally do not like to use these I think the hazards outweigh the savings use you own judgment ) in lamps that are on for more than one or two hours per day. Fluorescent lights have greatly improved in quality over the past ten years, and prices have come down recently: you can get 13-watt bulbs for less than four dollars. Fluorescent bulbs are 6-8 times more energy-efficient. They last 10-20 times longer than normal bulbs, so you won't have to change them for years. You can buy fluorescent bulbs that give off a very warm yellowish light, not that harsh white light. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, a fluorescent bulb will prevent the emission of 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide from electrical power plants. Let's say you have a light on for 4 hours a day, 250 days in a year. On average, running a 23-watt fluorescent bulb for that long will cost you $1.88, while a 100-watt incandescent bulb will cost you $8.30 in electricity. A 23-watt fluorescent bulb costs about $13, but it saves you $6.42 in energy costs per year, so it will pay for itself in 2 years. Note: Sometimes you'll see a light bulb advertised as a "long-life bulb", or something like that. That's not a fluorescent bulb, and it won't really save you much money. Do you work at a desk at home?
Use a 20-watt desk lamp instead of turning on a 60-watt light bulb that lights the entire room. You'll save about $5 on electricity for every 500 hours you spend at the desk.
Set your temperature to 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's set 5 degrees lower than that, it's cost refrigeratoring you about $5 more per year than it should. Defrost it as needed, to save another few bucks per year. Don't open the door too often, or for too long
A computer system can use $35 to $140 worth of electricity per year. You can reduce this cost by about 85% if you use a laptop computer. Or you could use the "standby" mode that's available in newer desktops, and/or use flat-screen monitors. You can go to your PC's power settings and tell it to automatically go into standby after not being used for a while (when it wakes up, your PC will still have the files and programs that were there when it "sleeped" itself.)
Go around your home and unplug devices you haven't used in the past month. Even if they aren't turned on, they probably use some juice just to stay warm.
Use a microwave oven or toaster oven when cooking small items. They use less energy and they don't require preheating. The approximate yearly cost to use ovens of various types is:
Electric Oven: $27
Toaster Oven: $14
Gas Oven: $13
Convection/Toaster Oven: $10
Microwave Oven: $5
Eliminate Phantom Load A surprising 75% of the energy used by home electronics is consumed when they're turned off. These "phantom" users include: televisions, VCRs, stereos, computers and many kitchen appliances--basically anything that holds a time or other settings. A simple solution? Plug all of these items into power strips, and then get in the habit of turning off the strips between uses. I am even putting a power strip in the girls rooms for the phone chargers and Radios.
Clothes washer -Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot.
Dishwasher-If you do use your dishwasher make sure it is full when you run it and use the energy saving setting, if available, to allow the dishes to air dry. You can also turn off the drying cycle manually. Not using heat in the drying cycle can save 20 percent of your dishwasher's total electricity use.
Water Heater-Turn down the thermostat. Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 is usually fine. Wrap in an insulated blanket.
Seal up the house. Cooled air can leak through cracks along window and door frames. Invest in some caulk and weather-stripping to plug up these drafts. A home that s properly insulated and sealed improves energy efficiency by up to 20% year-round, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. (Insulation materials are also eligible for the 30% energy efficiency federal tax credit, up to $1,500 for all improvements combined.) You can also cover your windows in plastic If you have older windows this

1 comment:

  1. Here is a little heat assist experiment: I pinned a piece of black batiste fabric on the back of curtains on windows that get full sun in winter. This cuts down light, but I got a 17 degree temp rise from air near the bottom to air coming out the top. Later, I misted the windows and stuck bubble wrap to the glass as an insulation layer. It still lets in lots of light. On windows with the black fabric, the temp rise was only 13 degrees after that, but I figured the nighttime insulation made up for the loss. Be sure to remove the fabric before Summer.

    Another thing I do is open windows mid day in Spring to capture warmer outside air in the house. As the days get hotter, I open windows at night to catch cooler air. Then reverse that process in the Fall. In the summer, A/C is essential at my current house.

    Also, since my dryer is electric (this can NOT be done with a gas dryer), I vent the dryer heat indoors in winter. I just attach a pair of cheap pantyhose to the vent hose. Remember to stuff something into the wall vent to block cold outside air from coming in.

    I haven't given up use of my dryer, but now I just run it for 8-10 minutes, take out everything that has been dewrinkled and hang stuff on the shower rod or a drying rack. If a few things are still wrinkly, I'll run them in the dryer a little more. My sheets dry in about 12 minutes, so I usually just finish them in the dryer. The dryer is an electric hog, but my iron is an electric hog too and consumes a whole lot more time.

    brenda from ar


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