Save Energy Whenever and Wherever You Can!
Energy-saving Tips for Winter (and the rest of the year as well)
Every time you leave a light on when no one is in the room you are burning money. Every time you roar up to a traffic light, screech to a halt, and then roar off again, you’re burning money (to say nothing of wear-and-tear on your car and tyres).
Here are some energy-saving tips that will help you to save energy, and a significant amount of money. Right from the very first time you adopt these tips wherever possible, in your home, at work and in your car, you will be saving money.
In the office and in the home:
- Air-dry dishes.
- Before opening a refrigerator, know what you want so you don’t let the interior warm up.
- Change incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
- Fix any leaks in your plumbing.
- Hang clothes to dry with natural ventilation, not a clothes dryer.
- If possible, lower air-conditioning use by raising the thermostat.
- In winter, turn the heater off a few minutes before you plan to leave the sitting room; the room will begin to cool down, but you’ll still be comfortable for a good 10-15 minutes – and that’s 10-15 minutes during which you were saving energy.
- Install a solar light tube to light rooms with natural light.
- Install a solar water heater and save.
- Install a venting skylight.
- Install weather stripping where necessary on doors and windows to keep those cold winter winds at bay.
- Insulate or install a radiant barrier in your home’s roof and walls to keep out the sun’s heat.
- Landscape your yard with indigenous plants, not lawn.
- Paint exterior and interior walls white.
- Paint flat garage roofs white
- Print and copy on both sides of the paper.
- Purchase low-energy appliances.
- Recycle your bottles, cans, and paper.
- Run the dishwasher only when fully loaded. Avoid unnecessary pre-rinsing.
- Shade windows from direct sunlight with an exterior awning or use window film that reduces ultraviolet and infrared radiation but still allows light to enter.
- To read, place yourself near a window, so you can use natural daylight, not electric lighting.
- Turn off lights and appliances when you leave the room.
- Turn the water off when washing your hands, brushing your teeth, and so on.
- Use direct lighting such as a bedside light and turn off general and overhead lighting.
- Use dual-flush toilets.
- Use fans in conjunction with less air-conditioning to keep cool.
- Use low-flow shower heads and taps.
- Use the low-energy settings in your computers, printers, copiers, and set them to power down when idle. Turn them off when you are finished using them and at the end of the day.
- Use the stairs instead of the lift.
- Use white or light-coloured roofing tiles.
- When you turn on the hot tap, the hot water sometimes takes a while to come through. Save the cold water that come through first in a jug and use it in your kettle, cooking or to water pot plants, for instance.
In the car:
- Change the oil at least twice a year.
- Do not drive with your windows down. To minimise drag, keep your windows closed within one inch of the top.
- Do not let the vehicle idle for long periods.
- Don’t use your car as storage – keep it as light as possible.
- Keep your engine properly tuned.
- Keep your tyres properly inflated.
- Plan your errands so you don’t waste fuel driving back and forth.
- Replace your big thirsty car with a hybrid or other fuel efficient vehicle.
- When nearing a traffic light and it is about to change, slow down so that it is green for you when you reach it and then accelerate slowly from a stop; do not speed.
- Whenever possible, don’t use the car – walk, cycle, or use public transport.
Mica stocks many energy-saving products such as CFLs, efficient heaters, fans and more…
These materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to www.mica.co.za, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.