Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Your practical tips for energy efficiency

  1. Sep 20, 2005 #1
    What habits and technology can we adopt to reduce personal energy consumption?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Car pool
    Generate electricity from exercise equipment
  4. Sep 21, 2005 #3
    I once met a guy who put small, closed, empty boxes in all the space in his freezer that wasn't being used. That way, he said, he didn't let all that cold air out each time he opened it.
  5. Sep 21, 2005 #4
  6. Sep 21, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Don't leave things on standby.
  7. Sep 21, 2005 #6
    Could you please show your math?
  8. Sep 21, 2005 #7
  9. Sep 21, 2005 #8
    Replace incandescant light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Can give 60 watts equivalent light with about 13 watts. The new color corrected quick lighting fluorescent bulbs give off light that looks almost the same as incandescant light bulbs.

    Wrap hot water piping with insulation.

    If you use an air conditioner, turn up the temperature to only 10 deg F below the outside temperature (95 deg F day would be set on 85 deg F etc.) with a low point setting of 80 deg F and supplement with ceiling fans.
  10. Sep 21, 2005 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Keep your car tuned, and don't leave it full of un necessary stuff

    Measure how much water needed to be boiled

    Use low energy lamp bulbs, i think 25W =60W
  11. Sep 21, 2005 #10
    Opt out of the consumer lifestyle. If no-one buys all this stuff we don't need, they might stop making it.

    Hang your clothes up (not in your wardrobe) while still damp to save ironing.

    Get into reading. It'll stop you watching so much daft television.

    Install solar panels on your roof. In the UK you can sell your excess back to the national grid. Don't know about the US.

    Have baths, not showers.

    Socialise. Don't sit in front of the TV or at your PC all night on... uh... forums. Fora?

    Drive at about 60 to 65 mph where possible - get the most mileage for the least amount of petrol consumed. Optimum speed for fuel consumption may vary country to country though.

    Wash clothes by hand. No, I don't see me doing that one either.

    Ultimately, get out of the rat race. We use most technologies to free up time. If we can afford to spend time walking to the shops instead of driving, etc then we will save on resources using these time-saving solutions and won't be cramming instant no-brainer entertainment into a busy schedules. On the down side, we'd probably live longer, so will spend more time using energy.
  12. Sep 21, 2005 #11
    Showers can actually use much less water if you use a flow restricted head. So I would add to my list:

    Install flow restricting shower heads.
  13. Sep 21, 2005 #12
    Use cloth bags at the store, or reuse the plastic ones (they're a petroleum product.)

    Grow some your own food (reduce packaging and transport of food).

    Buy seventh generation or other green source (post consumer recycled content etc - so fewer trees cut down - so more CO2 fixers left on the planet. )
  14. Sep 21, 2005 #13


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    El Hombre Invisible

    Hang your clothes up (not in your wardrobe) while still damp to save ironing.

    I thought that was my secret ironing method, i hang my shirts on the line
    buttoned up on a hanger :biggrin:
  15. Sep 21, 2005 #14
    Do you ever get the feeling you're being watched?
  16. Sep 21, 2005 #15
    Find non-fossil fuels, fund fusion reactors research, and build lots and lots of ultrasafe nuclear reactors. Might wanna use a certain design of nuclear reactor (forgot the name) in which the neutron flux automatically goes to zero if the temperature goes above a critical point...so its impossible to overload. It happens because the crystalline structure of the reactor core changes at the critical temperature.
  17. Sep 21, 2005 #16


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    A couple of things I do:

    All of my windows face north and we're surrounded by trees, so I didn't use an AC or even a single fan all summer. I don't use a heater during the winter (I actually like the cold). I hand-wash a lot of my clothes. I don't drive. I don't ever wash cups or glasses that I only drink water out of. I mostly eat food that requires little to no cooking. That's about it. We're not allowed to install new showerheads or insultate the pipes or anything here, but if we could, I would.
  18. Sep 21, 2005 #17
    If you drive:

    Don't race your engine at stops.

    Don't race up on red lights, but slow down and attempt to keep your wheels in motion so when the light turns green you are still moving.

    Don't jackrabbit start.

    Try and avoid quick acceleration or frequent changes in speed.

    Leave space and try and keep moving in slow traffic.

    Carpool when possible.
  19. Sep 21, 2005 #18
    Quickest payback (6 months) for an energy retrofit investment: an LED exit sign saves on maintainance, deterioration from heat, bulbs, electricity, air conditioning and emergencies over a traditional sign.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook