During the time we spend in our homes, we are constantly making tiny adjustments. Whether it is closing the blinds to blockout unwanted light or adjusting the temperature, we often make changes in order to promote comfort throughout. And while these changes can be subtle, they may result in unnecessary spending and energy use. One beneficial component of unwanted energy use in the home is that there are many ways to minimize waste, with a number of those methods being as simple as making small alterations to the things we already do. If you are hoping to find ways to save energy, consider these easy tips.
Replace Your Bulbs
With an often quick and unexpected burst, light bulbs within our homes flicker their last. Though having to install a replacement can be a hassle depending on the location of the bulb, it can also be an opportunity. For many homes, the use of incandescent and fluorescent bulbs is common but knowing the extent of the bulbs is not. As older forms of light bulb, they are less efficient than newer LED bulbs. Unlike other types of light that release a significant portion of their energy as heat, LEDs emit very little. They perform well in extreme weather conditions like the cold and last almost thirty times longer than incandescents and 3 times as long as fluorescents. Though they do have a higher upfront cost, LEDs pay for themselves over time and enable plenty of energy saving.
The process of preparing a meal often requires quite a bit of energy. Everything from heating the water in your sink to clean off veggies to putting rolls in the oven to toast requires electricity. When it comes to the oven especially, a significant amount is used to heat food to incredibly hot temperatures. Even the stovetop prompts energy use as pots and pans are placed over burners to heat. Though it may be easy to overlook, it is in this regard that you may be using energy unnecessarily. As pots are used to bring things to a boil, failure to place a lid overtop uses energy unnecessarily as it takes longer to cook and ends up using more energy. Simply using a cover negates all of this and will help you conserve energy while getting your food cooked faster.
Fill Up The Dishwasher
For the last several decades, dishwashers have been making people’s lives easier as they have reduced the amount of water needed for cleaning and have for the most part eliminated the need for handwashing. And while they inherently seem like the best option for saving energy on cleaning dishes and utensils, it is still possible to waste with them. This is most commonly done by washing small loads of dishes. In doing this, individuals are using the same amount of energy they would have for a smaller load, essentially wasting the excess that is meant for a full load. As you fill up your dishwasher, refrain from cleaning the load until it is completely full. At that point, you will be optimizing your energy use.
Take It Easy On Laundry Loads
Using the laundry machine efficiently follows along the same line as using the dishwasher. Putting in small loads will use energy unnecessarily and will end up costing you. There are some washers that allow your to minimize the amount of water used in the event you are doing a smaller load, so if your machine has the capability, take advantage of it. On the other hand, it is possible to fill washers and dryers with too many clothes. When this happens, not only will your clothes not get an adequate clean or dry, you may have to put them back in and use even more energy to finish the process. Be sure to fill your laundry machine and dryer only to the point where it is three-quarters full when doing a load.
Clean Your Oven After Use
There are a number of benefits to keeping your oven clean, with plusses relating to the taste of our food, the amount of money we use, and even our safety. When ovens are cleaned regularly, they are able to not only heat up faster but retain it better as well. What this means is that ovens are able to more easily heat food and cook it through thoroughly, helping it to taste better. It also allows you to cook your food quicker as well, resulting in less energy use and thus greater financial savings. For dirty ovens, the remnants of food from previous cooks may still remain on the interior and pose a risk of smoking. Grease that remains in ovens also creates potential challenges as well. It is therefore very important to continuously clean out the oven, not just for energy conservation, but your wellbeing as well.
Fan And Air Conditioning Together
When it comes to your home, the most commonly used mechanism for decreasing the internal temperature is the air conditioner. While it is an effective means of adjusting the condition of your home, it comes at a cost. The amount of work required for your air conditioner to bring things down from where they are in your home to your desired temperature will determine the energy needed. In the event that your A/C has to make a significant drop, it will need to use considerably more. In order to reduce this need, you can soften the energy use by utilizing any fans in your home with your air conditioner. Instead of cooling things off significantly, decrease the temperature within your home just a few degrees and have your fans circulate that cooler air. It will create the sensation that it is colder than it actually is and will help prevent you from using a fair amount of energy.
Use Your Curtains
Curtains and other window dressings are great tools for energy saving as they are able to cover windows and block out the sun’s ray. In doing this, curtains can minimize the temperature increases homes experience during the hours in which the sun is highest in the sky. Using this to your advantage, you can minimize your energy use while ensuring the feel of your home is what you desire. For the summer months when you want to keep your home cool, turn to light-colored curtains which will block out and reflect the heat, preventing it from entering your home. In the event you want things to be warmer, open up the curtains during the day and close them at night. This will allow heat to enter your home and keep it warm throughout the night without requiring any energy use.