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Save money this Earth Day (to also save the planet)

Why is sustainability so sexy these days? There are a lot of reasons. My top theory is that it’s become so clear that people can save money through green living ideas. So on Earth Day, we at the Inspired Economist wanted to inspire you to save money in a few ways that will also lower your carbon footprint. We’ll focus on the two appliances in most homes that are among the biggest energy hogs out there: the fridge and the dryer. (by the way, you can shop energy efficient dryers here, and shop energy efficient refrigerators here)

Clean your refrigerator condenser coils

Most people don’t even know what condenser coils are (or what they do), and that’s totally ok. The only thing you need to understand is that when your condenser coils get a bunch of dust and grime on them, the fridge has to work harder to keep cooler. If you have an older fridge, and you lament that it just doesn’t quite get as cold as it used to, odds are, the condenser coils just need a cleaning.

Savings: 15-20% of the electricity your fridge uses.

How: Here’s how.

Clean your dryer vent

Similar to the fridge, your clothes dryer also collects dust (mostly in the form of “lint”, also formerly known as your clothes). Most folks know that you should clean out your lint screen, but there’s a whole lot more. Underneath the lint screen area, there’s a whole lot more that could be hiding. Here’s a short video on how to clean that out, for maximum efficiency.

But wait…there’s more. Not cleaning out the lint can lead to major expense, in the form of fires. Here’s a video on that…with further instructions on how to clean out the venting duct system after the 3 minute mark, to bring your dryer to optimum use efficiency.

See more eco-friendly clothes care tips here.

Clothes drying rack from Fieryspirit on Flickr Creative Commons

Written by Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride.


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