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Mothers’ five rules for energy savings

Mothers are famous for their wisdom or “momisms.” Growing up, we often don’t appreciate all the practical life lessons mom shares with us. In honor of Mother’s Day, we have rounded up five common momisms that are valuable tips to live by and share with your kids.

1. “Turn the lights off when you leave your room.” 

You may have rolled your eyes when you heard these words as a child. Your mom was right! Making a habit of turning off lights when you leave the room does save energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it is best to shut off the lights if you will be gone for 15 minutes or more. If you are leaving the room for only a few minutes, you can leave the light on without worrying about wasting energy 

2. “Don’t stand in front of the fridge!”

Were you ever scolded for leaving the refrigerator door open as you tried to decide what snack or drink you wanted? You might not have appreciated feeling rushed by your mom but following this momism is good for your wallet and the planet. 

Leaving the door open on your fridge or freezer can drive up your electric bill and environmental footprint. When the door is open, the chilly air inside escapes and warm air enters the fridge. Once the door is closed, the compressor must work hard to re-cool the refrigerator. The longer the door is open, the more energy it requires. 

3. “Close the door! Don’t let the cool air out.” 

Mom is right about shutting the door, too. Leaving a house door open when the air conditioner is running allows cool air to escape and hot air to come in. To save energy, it is smart to always close the door behind you. Minimize foot traffic in-and-out of your home as much as possible.

4. “Don’t touch the thermostat!” 

Battles over the thermostat are common. The best rule of thumb is to leave your thermostat at the same setting whenever you are home. Changing the temperature frequently throughout the day is more likely to waste energy.

During cold months, 68° to 70° is the recommended temperature setting when you are home. To save energy during hot months, staying around 76° to 78° is best. When you’ll be gone for an extended period, reduce energy costs by lowering the temperature to 65° when it’s cold outdoors or up to 80° when it’s hot outside.

5. “Unplug the appliances before the storm hits!” 

Unplugging appliances before a storm might seem like a hassle, but it’s wise advice. If lightning strikes near a local electrical pole, it can cause a power surge that can damage appliances if plugged in. The Department of Homeland Security recommends unplugging all unnecessary appliances during a storm. 

As the saying goes, “Mother knows best.” These momisms are wise pieces of advice that can help reduce your energy use and environmental impact. For more energy-saving ideas, check out our Energy Tips page!