Although it may not seem like much, changing small things around your home can save your energy bill and the money you’re using to pay it. Such tasks can be changing outdated light bulbs or fixing a leaky pipe. Not only can they help you end up with lower bills but they can also help protect the environment around you.
Here are the top 15 tips on how to save energy and save yourself before you become encumbered by overloaded bills.
You Can Save Energy Starting Now If You…
1. Perform an Energy Audit
When discovering how to save energy, the first step is to do an energy audit. By getting an energy audit, you can make sure you are using energy efficiently. Luckily, most utility companies offer free auditing programs, so give them a call and have them help you cut down on your energy bill.
2. Try Using Hibernation for Your Devices When Not in Use
The hibernation feature in most computers is a handy tool that can help you shorten the use of energy that is connected to your devices. By allowing your computer to hibernate, you schedule your workload without over consuming energy. Not to mention, it really helps to break apart the day.
3. Turn Off Devices When You’re Not Using Them
Make sure you unplug and turn off your microwaves, lights, toasters, coffee machines, etc. when you’re not using them. Unfortunately, by simply turning off your devices, they will still consume power. Therefore, they need a total disruption from any outlets you have them connected to. It’s especially important to do this if you’re away on vacation. The last thing you want is to come back to a raised energy bill since no one was home!
4. Replace Old and Outdated Light Bulbs with CFLs
Swapping your old light bulbs is a great option if you want to know how to save energy. By replacing your old and outdated light bulbs with CFLs, you can work on consuming less power while lighting your house a lot better. Not to mention, these commercial lights can help reduce the energy consumption by nearly 75%. Also, they last up to 2-3 years more.
5. Use Power Strips
Take it from me – the smart thing to do is never to overload your outlets. Instead, use a power strip. This way, you can easily turn all of your devices on or off with the flip of a switch. By connecting each device to the strip, you can effectively save energy without the annoyance of needing to pull every cord from your appliance once you’re done using it.
6. Double Check Your Fridge and Freezer Temperatures
It’s a good idea to check your fridge and freezer temperatures on a weekly basis to make sure they are displaying the correct number. Ideal fridge temperatures run between 37-40 degrees and freezers run at 5 degrees. If they are any lower, you risk wasting energy. Any higher, you may spoil your food. Also, by keeping a full fridge and freezer, your items will stay colder longer and you won’t waste energy keeping only a few things cold.
7. Check for Cracks and Leaks
Heat often escapes your house through cracks and with it escapes your hard earned cash. When the effect of the cracks in an average home is added up, it is the equivalent of leaving a window open all year round. Proper air sealing is necessary to plug these leaks and stop air from escaping. You can purchase an inexpensive foam or caulk at your local hardware store to seal these leaks. The best places to look for cracks are around windows and door frames, near pipes, and around your basement ceiling.
8. Install Solar Panels
When thinking about how to save energy, consider installing solar panels. Solar energy is more than just a trend, it is the way of the future. The sun provides a free, clean, and renewable source of energy. The costs of installing solar panels may seem like a lot up front. However, they will pay for themselves and then some within a few years. Additionally, the maintenance costs for solar panels are minimal and they last for a very long time. Cut down your monthly costs and invest in the future with solar panels.
9. Adjust Your Curtains
An easy way to reduce energy spending on heat is to use the sun to your advantage. During the day, open your curtains to allow the sun’s warmth to enter your home. During the night, close your blinds or curtains to keep the heat inside your home.
10. Switch to Energy Efficient Devices
Energy star appliances provide an easy way on how to save energy. Though these appliances generally cost more upfront, they will save you money in the long term. Look on the labels for information about efficiency and search for energy star appliances. Paying a little more now can save you a lot down the line.
11. Check Your Meter
Utility companies make mistakes just like people do. However, if they make a mistake when reading your meter, it can cost you dearly. Compare your monthly bill to the meter reading to make sure that they match up. This ensures that you are only paying for the energy that you are actually using. Even small errors can make a big difference. If the number on your meter is lower than the one on your bill, you are being overcharged.
12. Insulate Your Basement
Did you know that up to 30% of a house’s heat can be lost if the basement is uninsulated? For the average household, this works out to be almost $200 each year. You can proceed in one of these two ways: insulating just the basement ceiling or just the basement walls. Insulating the ceiling prevents heat from escaping. However, insulating and enclosing the walls creates a new room in your home and more living space.
13. Opt for a White Roof
If it is within your power to do so, paint your roof white. It is quite a known fact that, in sunny climates, buildings with white roofs use up to 40% less energy for cooling than buildings with darker roofs.
14. Buy a Programmable Thermostat
With a programmable thermostat, you can easily regulate your heating and its costs without having it constantly on your mind. You can simply set the temperatures and forget about it. By lowering the temperature in your home 10 degrees for eight hours a day, you can save up to 10% on your yearly energy bill.
15. Perform a Nightly Check
If you want to know how to save energy, then make a habit of this. Before you go to bed every night, take a walk through your home to check if any appliances were left on. We have all left a light on overnight or fallen asleep with the tv on, but doing so can waste a lot of energy and money. We mentioned before the importance of turning off appliances when they are not in use. It is crucial to get in the habit of checking them every night, as this is when most appliances are accidentally left on.
Reducing energy costs and usage is a simple process that can make a world of difference. By doing something as simple as closing the curtains or changing a light bulb, you can not only save money but also save the planet. Do you have any tips on how to save energy that you would like to share? Let me and all the other readers know in the comments below!