Saving energy is important, but many people ignore simple things that will produce positive energy use reduction. Sometimes there is a small price to pay, but that is often just an initial price. Often, after the small investment there is actually a money saving that follows, a saving that far exceeds the initial investment. And, many such energy saving activities can be accompanied by very little physical effort, making such tasks as are involved possible for most people to handle.
Saving Energy and Money
Simple things can often have great effect in saving energy. And, as a bonus often save money. Doing these things is the responsible thing to do for the Earth.
There are times when appliances operate with a different temperature than the surroundings, and control of airflow can make the operation more efficient. Sometimes, like when the appliance requires a filter, enhancing the flow of air increases the efficiency at which the appliance operates. Other times inhibiting airflow is needed.
Clothes dryers operate with hotter than the environment temperatures, and freely flowing heated air causes evaporation. If the air does not flow freely, it soon saturates with water vapor, so it is necessary to have the air move away once it has absorbed water vapor. But, a clogged filter inhibits this airflow, which can cause the dryer to operate over an extended length of time, wasting energy. In addition, there is a possibility of causing a dryer fire. So, clean the filter regularly. And there is a thermal fuse, as I found out. I once accidentally washed and dryer a magazine, which caused the filter to clog so badly the thermal fuse blew.
Make certain you thoroughly clean the dryer occasionally, since some lint gets past the filter that you can remove and clean. This requires a dryer cleaning brush, a small brush on a long, flexible handle. This removes built up lint you cannot easily see.
Wool dryer balls also help with dryer efficiency, since they help hold heat and distribute it to the moist clothing, thereby reducing drying time.
And, do not forget to clean the dryer vent where the air exists the building. Reduced airflow anywhere in the air path to the outdoors causes increased drying time.
Heating and Air Conditioning Units
Unlike dryer filters, many filters for heating and air conditioning units must be replaced. Oh, here are some that can be washed, but the inexpensive ones must be discarded. They require frequent checking and can usually be easily removed. Mine simply can be pulled out after turning two small fasteners that hold the outer grill.
Here is an opportunity to upgrade to an electrostatic filter. Some washable, more expensive filters are claimed to become charged with a static charge by air flowing through them, which attracts and traps such things as pollen. These are advertised to help with allergies.
Refrigerators and Freezers
Of course cold air is lost every time the refrigerator or freezer door is opened, so remove as many items as needed in as short of a time as possible. But, refrigerators and freezers must remove heat from within. If something like butter is taken out for use, and placed back, doing so as quickly as possible helps. Cold items absorb heat from the air, and once heated will require added work by the unit after it is placed back.
Another problem is the gasket, that rubber strip than surrounds the door. That is the barrier to loss of colder air. If it starts to loosen, seal it. If it splits, replace it.