Fridge: Reduce door openings. Running it on 'low' or 'mid' cool, especially in colder weather, saves power. If it's an old fridge, have the door checked for costly air-leaks.
AC: "An AC is best installed under an outside shade or parapet," says Mili Majumdar of Delhi's Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI). It works much like its cousin, the fridge, so have all open gaps around windows, lofts and around the AC itself sealed off. Control sunlight with curtains or blinds. Keep the AC's exhaust shut. Setting its thermostat 'high' can be wasteful.
Washing machine: Reduce your weekly wash cycles by loading the machine to capacity. Front-loaders use less power and water than top-loaders. "A heater can consume five times more power," points out Dr V.B.Bhatia, professor of physics at Delhi University. Use the heater only for very soiled clothes and don't set it above 50ºC. A good detergent often eliminates the need for a hot-wash.
Lights: Tubes give much more light than bulbs of the same wattage. Hate their stark-white light? The new yellowish tubes mimic bulbs.
Fans: Switch to electronic regulators. They waste much less energy.
Iron: Dampen bone-dry clothes or use a steam-iron -- to finish faster," says Prof Bhatia.
Oven: Three cakes baked together doesn't use up much more power than baking just one.
Pressure cooker: After it starts to whistle, turn the flame down to "low," says TERI's Majumdar. This original PC is a home's best energy saver -- cook with it as far as possible. » Continue reading
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