With the amount spent on bills steadily increasing you may find yourself asking what you can do to save money. One of the quickest and easiest ways to do so is by cutting down on your energy consumption.
The old saying about “keeping the lights on” becomes difficult when the price associated with doing so isn’t cheap. Not to mention your air conditioner, furnace, and hot water furnace. Changing your habits and tweaking your usage can help lower your bill by as much as 25%! Below are ten tips that could effectively help you save money.
HEATING AND COOLING
Tip #1: Check seals on your windows, doors, and appliances
Faulty seals on your windows, doors, and appliances could be draining your wallet. To ensure you are not letting energy seep out, make sure to check the seals on your fridge and freezer to ensure the cold air stays where it belongs. In addition, check doors and windows for proper seals so you don’t wind up heating or cooling the outdoors.
Tip #2: Adjust your thermostat
There is no use heating or cooling your home when you are away. To help cut back on heating and cooling costs, set your thermostat back 10-15 degrees when you are away from home. Additionally, lowering your thermostat while you are asleep will also help to save you money and cut back on energy usage. Doing this for at least eight hours can lower your heating/cooling costs by about 10% each year.
Tip #3: Fix leaky ductwork
To improve the heating and cooling system in your home remember to check and repair any leaking heating ventilation or air conditioning ducts right away. Did you know that many ducts can be partially or fully closed? If you have a room(s) you rarely use, you can close the duct to that room(s), which will save you money.
Tip #4: Take shorter and cooler showers
We all enjoy long, hot showers. However, cutting off two minutes from your shower helps eliminate water usage by at least five gallons, which adds up to roughly 1,500 gallons in a year! You save water and the energy to heat it.
Tip #5: Don’t wash clothes in hot water (unless you have to)
Stick to washing clothes in warm or cold water when doing your laundry. Using this simple trick could help cut your per-load energy usage in half.
Tip #6: Replace your shower head
If you find yourself still using that leaky showerhead now is the time to switch. Having an efficient showerhead will not only provide you with a better shower experience but will also cut back on your water usage by at least 2,000 gallons per year. Look for the showerheads marked with the WaterSense label when making your new purchase. These showerheads are certified to meet efficiency criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Tip #7: Adjust the temperature on your water heater
Adjusting the temperature on your water heater can help you cut heating costs by around 10%. The default temperature for most water heaters is 140 degrees. Lowering this default temperature by 20 degrees to 120 degrees is a small change that could help save big money. In addition, if you find yourself leaving town to go on vacation, turning your water heater to the lowest setting will also help to conserve energy usage.
POWER AND LIGHTING
Tip #8: Switch out lightbulbs
If you haven’t already, make the switch to LED lightbulbs. Swapping the light bulbs in your five most used light fixtures for LEDs (or compact fluorescent bulbs) can help save up to $75 per year. Look for those that have the Energy Star label to ensure you are making the correct purchase. And remember to turn off the porch and other outside lights when you go to bed.
Tip #9: Use smart power strips
Believe it or not some gadgets never actually power off. Instead, they sit in standby mode which uses power that can add up over time. These are usually found in devices that use a remote control to turn on and off such as a television since the remote sensor needs power while waiting for your input. To combat this try plugging these devices into smart power strips. These strips cut off the power when your devices aren’t in use, which in turn will help you save money.
Tip #10: Do an energy audit
If you are interested in finding out what the professionals have to say schedule an energy audit with your utility provider. Sometimes the energy audits are free and will allow you to identify other ways to reduce your energy usage.
Though not all these tips may be helpful to you, utilizing a combination of them can still help to lower energy usage and save you money each year. Remember to contact a utility professional with any questions regarding other ways to reduce your energy usage.