The average American household spends around $100 per month in energy costs. That’s over $1200 a year, if you live in a state with low energy costs or mild weather. Energy costs can very easily double or trip that depending on where you live or the size of your home. Regardless of whether you live in an apartment or home, there are five energy saving tips that everyone can follow to cut their costs.
One of the best ways to save energy is to cut back on heating and cooling costs. There are a number of ways you can do this by making your home more efficient.
These seemingly innocent flaws let out the hot or cold air that you work so hard to pay for. If there is a hole or crack, simply buy a new weather strip or insolation foam from a local home store to apply yourself. It’s easy to use and inexpensive. If you don’t trust your skills, hire a handyman. You’ll still save on energy cost in the end.
Health permitting, set your thermostat to 68º in the winter time and 78º in the summer time with cost down. If you’re cold in the winter, put on a blanket or sweater and socks. In the summer time, utilize fans for any extra cooldown that you need. If there are periods of time when no one is in the house (work, school, or whatnot), turn off the heating/cooling or set it to 56º in the winter and 85º in the summer. This way you aren’t paying for the AC/heater to run when no one is home to enjoy the effort.
Another great source of energy savings is through your home’s lighting.
While ‘more money’ upfront in cost, they last longer, are more efficient, and use less power than other light bulbs. The overall effect is that your energy bill will go down, saving you money in the end. Use lower wattage bulbs and ‘soft white’ bulbs in older light fixtures that can’t use LED bulbs.
It doesn’t cost anything to use the sunlight. In the evening, be sure to turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Older models waste more energy, especially if there is damage around the rubber insolation lining on the door, making it run the motor more often. Newer models are designed to use less energy, costing less to the run over all. Be sure to keep the door shut when not in use. Also, a full fridge actually runs more efficiently than an empty one.
Most clothing detergents are designed to work just as well, if not better, with cold water nowadays, reducing the need to waste the water in the water heater. Use cycles that are water conservative and are not longer than they need to be, saving on both water and electricity.
Not only is a full lint vent a fire hazard, but it can affect the efficiency of the dryer, making it take longer to dry the clothes- thus wasting more energy. Try not to stuff the dryer too full or not full enough. Anything other than an evenly full load takes more energy or time. If it’s warm outside, try hanging the clothes up to dry. It might take a bit more time to do, but it’s free.
It doesn’t need to be higher than what your appliances (dishwasher and washing machine) require. Simply checking the manuals will tell you how hot they need, but a general rule is about 120*. This will also prevent any accidental water burns if you have young children or elderly people in home. Wrapping your heater in an insolation blanket will also increase the efficiency. Older water heaters, like fridges, use more energy to run. A tank-less water heater is more efficient and space saving, if you need to get a new one.
Select normal or standard picture settings for your everyday viewing. The ‘vivid’ picture, while pretty, eats up much more energy than the normal setting. Also, if your TV has Automatic Brightness Control (ABC), turn it on. This adjusts the brightness of the screen with the brightness of the room, using less energy when needed.
Gaming consoles use more energy than a normal streaming device. It can even be as much as 75 watts for one movie, compared to the roughly 2 watts a Fire Stick or other energy-efficient streaming device would use.
Even when they aren’t in use, a TV, gaming console, or streaming device is still sucking in energy, maintain a ‘sleeping’ like state. While it means that it ‘wakes up’ faster when you turn it back on, it also means that it’s wasting energy when not in use. Unplugging the device is the only way to prevent it from needlessly draining your energy bill. Since individually unplugging devices can be tedious, consider plugging them into an energy-saving power strip. With one click, you can save on your energy bill.
If you make these changes and still aren’t seeing a change in your power bill every month then it might be a good idea to speak with an electrician. They can evaluate your home to find out what activities or devices are using the most energy. A professional will also have additional energy savings tips based upon your family’s needs.