Easy Kid-Proof Energy-Saving Solutions
By Mary Ripley on May 24, 2018
Kid-Proof Solutions to Reduce Wasted Energy
Each year, I try to figure out new ways that my family can conserve energy in an effort to save money. There are always the obvious steps that could be taken like keeping lights shut off, not leaving the refrigerator door open for long periods of time and turning off or unplugging appliances when not in use. All these things seem simple enough, but if your family is anything like mine, you’ll know they rarely happen like they should. Here are the steps I took to solve some common energy wastes around the house.
With two young children running around the house, I find lights being left on all the time. When we remodeled our basement into a playroom for the kids, the lights were being left on every time the kids were done playing. After doing some research, I decided to invest in motion sensors to control the lights in the playroom. These sensors detect when someone enters the room and automatically turn the lights on. After a period of no movement, the lights will automatically shut off. This worked so well that we decided to add them to our laundry room. It’s great to be able to walk into our laundry room and not have to juggle arms full of laundry while turning the lights on or off.
Whether it’s playing with the soap while washing their hands, letting the water run while brushing their teeth or taking long showers to play in the water, kids are notorious for leaving water running. Wasting water not only increases the water bill but it can also increase the electric bill since the water heater has to use more energy to heat more and more water. To help combat this, we installed a faucet aerator in the kitchen and a low-flow shower head in the bathroom. These items help by cutting back on the amount of water that comes out of the faucets. I haven’t noticed a difference in water pressure either.
Ever walk into your kitchen to find the refrigerator door left open? A lot of times, we’ll find that the door was slammed shut and bounced back open or something was in the way when the door was shut preventing it from closing all the way. We resolved this by installing child safety locks on the refrigerator. The kind that prevent toddlers from getting into the refrigerator when they are not supposed too. Our daughters are old enough to be able to unlock these themselves so it doesn’t prevent access to the refrigerator. But it does prevent the door from bouncing back open, not closing properly and keeps it sealed tight as long as everyone remembers to use them. For some reason our daughter’s like to lock up the refrigerator so this isn’t a problem.
Other Appliances –
Even when some appliances are just turned off, they can still be using electricity. So the best way to save money on electricity when it comes to appliances is to make sure that they are unplugged when not in use. I’m lucky to get everyone to remember to shut off the TV or computer when they are done using it. Trying to get them to turn off or unplug all the peripheral appliances such as gaming systems, blue-ray player, monitors, and speakers just isn’t likely to happen. Our solution was to purchase automatic shut off power strips. These power strips have 1 control outlet in which the main device is plugged into such as your TV. Then all the peripheral devices are plugged into the automatic outlets. This is where you would plug in the blue-ray player, gaming systems, and speakers. Plus there are 2 outlets that always stay on which is where we plug in a clock or any other device that needs to remain on. Now, all we need to do is work on getting the TV turned off when not in use so the power strip can automatically cut the power to all the peripheral devices plugged in to the automatic outlets. As of now, we are still working on remembering to do this. But so far the power strips have been a big help with cutting back on our electricity usage and we noticed a significant savings on our electric bill once we had installed them.
A work in Progress…
Learning new ways to reduce our energy usage and actually following through with them is a work in progress in our household. While simply remembering to turn off the lights, shut off the water when not in use, and unplug appliances would be the best way to drastically reduce the amount of energy our household uses, that is sometimes easier said than done when you have a household that includes children. But by implementing the use of these money-saving, energy-saving devices, we’ve been able to see a significant change in our household energy consumption.Tags: