It’s easy to assume that if the power is out, energy is being conserved. Many people, however, use backup forms of energy to continue living as normally as possible. This may mean using a gas-powered generator or even propane, which means power isn’t being conserved. Instead, the source of the power has simply changed. Because propane and gasoline can be expensive, you need to carefully consider how you can conserve energy during a power outage.
Be Wise in the Kitchen
The refrigerator is one of the most important appliances you want to keep running during a power outage. While the refrigerator may be running, you want to be careful to remind the kids not to open the refrigerator repeatedly, as this will use more energy. During an outage, your best bet is to eat foods that can be eaten cold or straight from the package, such as sandwich crackers. The oven is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in the home and should be avoided. If you want to prepare a hot meal, consider using your outdoor grill or a propane camp stove, as propane is truly efficient in heating food.
Choose Energy-Free Entertainment Options
You may have a whole-house generator that allows you to run your TV, but that doesn’t mean you should. Instead of wasting energy on electronic forms of entertainment, dust off those old board games or crack open a book. You may even want to keep crafts on hand for just such occasions. There are many things you and your family can do that doesn’t require energy.
Let the Light In
Whether the lighting is electric or battery-powered, it’s still using unneeded energy. Open the curtains and shades to take advantage of the natural light. Natural light is not only free, but is better for the eyes than artificial lighting. If the weather outside is nice, you may even want to enjoy a book outdoors.
Find Different Ways to Stay Warm or Cool
One of the biggest problems during a power outage is staying warm or cool. Power outages often occur during the warm summer months, due to tornadoes and hurricanes, or during the cold winter months because of snow or freezing rain. Heating and cooling can both use a lot of energy. For staying cool, you can always open the windows, wear cooler clothing, and run a fan. However, plugging in even a window unit air conditioner will quickly eat up a lot of energy from your backup power source. Another tip you can use is to install thermal curtains that block out the heat. Thermal curtains will also keep the heat in during the winter. Other ways to stay warm during the winter, while conserving energy, include dressing in layers of clothing, using a personal heated throw, and running a space heater off your generator.
Install a Propane Water Heater
While a whole-house generator will certainly power a standard water heater, installing a propane water heater to be used during such emergencies will use less energy. Instead of heating a large amount of water, you’ll only be heating what’s needed. This allows you to have hot water for showers, which can make living through a power outage much more comfortable.
Most people don’t conserve a lot of energy during a power outage. Instead, many people simply choose to power their appliances and electronics in different ways. Unfortunately, this can be rather expensive. The good news is there are several ways to cut energy costs when the power goes out. Whether you get creative with your entertainment options or choose to eat cold cuts, you can get through a long power outage without spending hundreds on propane or gasoline.
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