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  • Turn your computer off when not in use. This is the single most important thing you can do to reduce energy consumption. Much of the energy use associated with computers is wasted because PC's are often left on when not in use, including nights, weekends, and even extended periods of inactivity during the day. Most experts agree that turning your computer on and off will have no significant effect on their operation or life.
  • Turn off your display device or monitor when not in use. If you must leave your computer on for network applications or other purposes, it makes sense to turn off monitors. Monitors consume a significant portion of the energy used by PC’s. Trends toward larger displays, more color, and higher resolution have increased the amount of energy required to operate monitors.
  • Use a laptop. A typical laptop computer has a maximum power consumption of 15 watts, and extensive power management capabilities. A typical desktop PC, with display, consumes about 10 times that or 150 watts, and has limited power management features. The potential energy savings from substituting PC’s with portable laptops are large, up to 90% or more.
  • Turn printers off when not in use. Printers are typically left on for extended periods of time but are active only for only a small percentage of that time.
  • Select a printer with power management capabilities. Printers with automatic "power down" features can reduce electricity use by over 65%. Printers automatically power down to 15 - 45 watts, depending on the number of pages per minute produced, after specified periods of inactivity.
  • Select a fax machine with power management capabilities. Fax machines are generally turned on 24 hours-a-day to receive incoming messages. However on average they are actually in use for only about 5% of the total time they are turned on. Fax machines with power management features can reduce energy costs by almost 50%.
  • Avoid using full-page cover sheets. Use stick-on labels on the first page of your fax. This will not only reduce the energy use of the fax machine, but it will also save paper and telephone charges.
  • Set your thermostats at 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter and leave them there. You can immediately realize a 3% to 5% decrease in energy use for every degree you adjust the thermostat setting above or below your normal setting.
  • Make sure furniture, curtains and rugs don’t block the flow of air from vents and air registers.
  • In the winter, open curtains and shades to let the sun warm your home naturally.
  • Dress warmly, even indoors. This will allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees lower and still stay comfortable.
  • In the summer, keep curtains and shades closed.
  • During summer months, avoid using appliances that give off heat during the hottest times of the day as they will make your cooling system work harder. Do your cooking, washing and clothes drying in the morning or in the late evening, when the demand on your cooling system is less.
  • Every time you use cold water instead of hot, you save energy and dollars.
  • Wait until your dishwasher is full before using it. Automatic dishwashers require the same amount of hot water and electricity to wash a partial load as a full load.
  • Dishwashers use less hot water than hand washing. To make them an even better energy saver, open up the door when the machine gets to the dry cycle and let the dishes air dry.
  • Take quick showers instead of baths. This greatly reduces the amount of hot water needed.
  • In your refrigerator, keep food away from the interior walls so cold air can circulate faster.
  • Unplug cell phone chargers when not in use.
  • Unplug hair dryers and curling irons when not in use.
  • Use smaller lamps over work areas such as desktops so work can be done without lighting the whole room.
  • Turn off lights when you do not need them.
  • Wash clothes in warm or cold water and rinse them in cold water. Use hot water only when necessary.
  • Wash a full load at a time but do not overload. A small load in a washing machine consumes just as much energy as a full load.
  • When using a dryer, wait until you have a full load. Separate drying loads into heavy and lightweight items. The lightweight items take less time to dry, so the dryer doesn’t have to be on for as long with these loads.
  • Clean the lint filter thoroughly after each load. A clogged filter restricts the flow of air and reduces the performance of the dryer.
  • Don’t over dry clothes. Taking clothes out when they are slightly damp reduces the need for ironing.

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