5 Back to School Energy Saving Tips

For some, back to school could not have come soon enough and for others, it comes too soon.  I am part of the latter group purely to spend more time with my kids.  I do however view back to school as a break for our house, a time to cut back and a time to save both energy and money.    Here are 5 back to school energy saving tips to get you started.

 Tip #1:   Keep Summer Heat Outside:   It is a known fact that the temperature outside directly relates to your energy bill and August in Kansas City is hot.  By simply shutting your blinds or curtains and closing the door behind you, you have the ability to block the sun’s heat and decrease your air conditioner’s workload which in turn will save energy and money.  

Tip #2: Programmable Thermostat:  Last month, I blogged about how to use your programmable thermostat and now is the perfect time to demonstrate its energy savings ability.   While your family is away from home, program your thermostat a few degrees higher than you would if you were home and program it to begin to cool down 30-60 minutes prior to getting home.  Remember, avoid thermostat overrides to really notice the energy savings.

 Tip #3: Turn off:  Turn off, unplug, detach, whatever it may be to all electronics that are not in use.  This includes game consoles, tablets of any sort, cell phones, and cable boxes.  Screen savers aren’t money savers, the off button is.  While you are at it, unplug your toaster and coffee pot when you are done with them.  Every little bit helps.

 Tip #4: Time Sensitive Appliances:  Typically, the later in the day it is the most expensive it is to use washers, dryers, and dishwashers.   If possible, attempt to tackle laundry first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening when it is cooler outside.  As tempting as it might be to wash an incomplete load of both dishes and clothes, a full load is always best.  At my house, I try and only do laundry from 7:00am-11:00 am and hang dry jeans and other dryer heavy clothing to decrease the dryer’s energy use.

 Tip #5:  Close the door:   I am so excited about this back to school energy saving tip because it is the easiest of all.   I lost count this summer as to the number of times I said, “Please close the door,” or “you are letting the cold air out.”  In fact, I am willing to place a bet that my energy bill will be lower in August due to the lack of invitation of warm air in and release of cold air with the in and out of the front door. 

 The dog days of summer are nearing the end, the school routine will become normal and soon it will be time to rest your air conditioner for the season.  These 5 back to school energy saving tips are simple ways to end the summer on a good note.