Need help saving money, lowering your monthly energy bill and having a most positive impact on the world with an energy efficient lifestyle? Saving energy requires you to recognize how you use energy in your everyday life and determining the changes you need to make to increase your energy efficiency without greatly impacting your quality of life. It’s likely you may not even know everything that contributes to your energy use, as a number of appliances are able to do so in a sneaky fashion. Fortunately, there are several ways to realize big energy savings without having to put forth much effort. The following tips are eight of the best ways to save energy.
8 ENERGY SAVING TIPS TO TRY AT HOME
1. Vampire Energy
Households are filled with electronic devices that are used in everyday life without a second thought. And even if you are mindful about powering them down, these devices could still be costing you if they remain plugged in. The reason for this is vampire energy, which can account for as much as 20% of the energy bill for your home. This can translate to several hundred dollars per household on an annual basis and can make for major savings when it is recognized and addressed. Remedying the situation is as simple as unplugging your electronics. You can use power strips to plug in multiple devices and make unplugging your electronics a simple matter of removing one chord. Among those devices to unplug are televisions, printers, and video game consoles. For devices that are left to charge like cell phones, remove their chords when they are fully powered or you will be using energy unnecessarily.
2. Water Heater
One of the most significant sources of energy use in homes is attributable to the water heater, as it is responsible for supplying heat to showers, sinks, dishwashers, and laundry machines. In fulfilling its purpose, the water heater does use energy and that comes at a cost. This is particularly true of tanked water heaters, which keep a store of warm water for quick distribution but require energy to do so. In supplying water throughout homes, most heaters are preset to 140 degrees Fahrenheit which allows them to heat to scalding temperatures and use more energy in the process. To begin saving, go to your tanked heater and drop the temperature down within the 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit range. This will still allow your appliance to deliver water at desirably hot temperatures but will cost you less to do so.
3. Change Bulbs
An energy saving tip that only requires a one-time switch is exchanging the bulbs in your home for energy efficient ones. As our primary source of light, bulbs are used every day throughout rooms and for extended periods of time. Finding ways to minimize their energy consumption offers easy savings with every flip of a switch. The most efficient bulbs available are CFLs and LEDs as they outlast traditional incandescents several times over and consume less energy to do so. For incandescent bulbs, nearly 80% of the energy they are supplied with is released as heat energy instead of being converted into light energy. The opposite is true of CFLs and LEDs, which turn the vast majority of the energy they are supplied with into light. They come at a higher cost but will ultimately pay for themselves while saving you energy.
4. Natural Light
Relying on the light that naturally enters your home is a simple way to save that actually comes with several additional benefits. The first is the fact that it keeps us from having to hit on our lights to brighten up our spaces. Additionally, the benefit of having sunlight enter our homes is the fact that it brings with it warmth, which helps to raise the temperature of the home with energy efficiency heating. During the winter months, you can keep from turning on the heat by simply having the sun supplement it. In the warmer months this may actually end up costing you more and force you to use energy in order to cool off your spaces with the help of air conditioning. The best way to manage this is to use window dressings like blinds and shades that can minimize the amount of light that is able to get in and block out the heat that it brings with it, thus taking the stress off of your air conditioner.
5. Clothes Cleanings
In doing chores like laundry, you’ll need to expend energy in order to give your things a thorough clean. And while it is possible to save by simply utilizing a hand wash instead of a machine wash, there are still ways to cut down on the energy used while making things a bit easier on yourself. To begin, wash your clothes with cold water instead of warm due to the fact that providing the washer with hot water is a source of energy use. To save more energy, be mindful of the volume of garments that are put in to clean. The optimal wash involves filling the machine until it’s two-thirds full, which maximizes energy use without overdoing things and reducing the washer’s ability to effectively clean.
Another cleaning machine to know a few things about is the dishwasher. In the same manner as the washing machine, you should load it to the point that it can function optimally. If you have just a few things to clean, you will definitely want to either store them in the appliance or hand wash them. Should you choose the latter, fill up the kitchen sink with a few inches of water so that you can reuse it as you clean instead of letting it run down the drain, which is a waste. You can even choose to skip the drying cycle in the name of energy efficiency and allow your dishes to air dry. It may take a bit longer, but it will save you energy.
7. Get Out of The House
Your home is the center of your life and also the place you consume the most energy. Because of this, you’re likely using energy in ways you don’t even realize. The expense of this consumption can be diminished by leaving your home for a time in order to provide it with a break from continuous energy usage. Getting a little physical activity in the form of walking, biking, or participating in sports are one option for cutting your energy usage. If you want to just find a place to go for a time, the library can help you to cut your consumption too. In addition to the books you can check out without charge, there are even computers that can be accessed and that allow you to forgo their usage in your own home.
8. Be Careful with Oven Energy
The oven is a tool that many of us depend upon when it comes to food preparation. Unfortunately, it does require a fair amount of energy and time. This cost only rises as the heat generated from the oven escapes out into our homes, raising the temperature and forcing the air conditioner to use more energy in order to combat the warmth. A much simpler and energy efficient way to cook is to rely on the microwave which not only uses a considerably smaller amount of energy, it also cooks food faster. If you must use the oven, maximize the space used within it as you cook. You can even consider using the oven more during the cooler months to warm the house instead of having to turn on the heat. A bad habit that some people have is peeking into the oven as food cooks in order to check on it. Each time you open the door and look in, you can cause a temperature drop of up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and this disruptive process of heating and cooling will force the oven to use more energy to restore the temperature.
SEE JUST HOW MUCH THESE ENERGY SAVING TIPS CAN HELP YOU!
In your ongoing effort of committing to energy efficiency and saving money, consider these simple tips on reducing your energy usage in order to decrease your utility expenses. There are always ways to skillfully change up your energy usage behaviors in every room in the home in order to put some money back into your pockets. You’ll likely find that some tips work better for you than others and when that happens, it is okay to prioritize them. You may even discover ways to improve upon their energy efficiency. However you do it, employing energy saving tips within your home will facilitate desirable results.