With everyone reeling at the high cost of energy, Consumer Reports has put together a list of 20 free ways to reduce energy costs. Here’s the short list:

  1. Wash clothes in cold water.
  2. Use a clothesline to dry laundry.
  3. Don’t overdry your laundry.
  4. Don’t pre-rinse dirty dishes in the sink before loading in the dishwasher. Just scrape the food off with a fork.
  5. Put your PC to sleep.
  6. Turn down the heat in the winter, and turn down the cool in the summer.
  7. A cold hearth for a warmer house.
  8. Lower the shades and raise the windows.
  9. Use fans instead of air conditioning.
  10. Clean the air conditioner’s filter.
  11. Set the hot water heater at 120 degrees F (or the “low” setting), which is hot enough for most needs.
  12. When possible, use the microwave instead of the oven.
  13. Use the right sized pan on the oven burner.
  14. When buying a new appliance, check the label that gives an estimate of annual energy consumption.
  15. Slow cookers use much less energy than pots left simmering on an stove.
  16. Clean the coils on the refrigerator.
  17. Drive steadily and slower.
  18. Roof racks, even empty ones, reduce efficiency.
  19. Use regular gasoline.
  20. Don’t let your car idle for any longer than necessary.

Read the explanation of each bullet point on Consumer Reports’ GreenerChoices.org Web site.

Credit: “20 Ways to Save Energy”